Science, Tech, Math › Science What Is the Chemical Formula of Sugar? Chemical Formulas of Different Types of Sugar Share Flipboard Email Print ThoughtCo / Hilary Allison Science Chemistry Molecules Basics Chemical Laws Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Facebook Twitter Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on November 08, 2019 The chemical formula of sugar depends on what type of sugar you are talking about and what type of formula you need. Table sugar is the common name for a sugar known as sucrose. It is a type of disaccharide made from the combination of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. The chemical or molecular formula for sucrose is C12H22O11, which means each molecule of sugar contains 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms. The type of sugar called sucrose is also known as saccharose. It is a saccharide that is made in many different plants. Most table sugar comes from sugar beets or sugarcane. The purification process involves bleaching and crystallization to produce a sweet, odorless powder. The English chemist William Miller coined the name sucrose in 1857 by combining the French word sucre, which means "sugar", with the -ose chemical suffix that is used for all sugars. Formulas for Different Sugars However, there are many different sugars besides sucrose. Other sugars and their chemical formulas include: Arabinose - C5H10O5 Fructose - C6H12O6 Galactose - C6H12O6 Glucose - C6H12O6 Lactose - C12H22O11 Inositol - C6H12O6 Mannose - C6H12O6 Ribose - C5H10O5 Trehalose - C12H22O11 Xylose - C5H10O5 Many sugars share the same chemical formula, so it is not a good way to distinguish between them. The ring structure, location and type of chemical bonds, and three-dimensional structure are used to distinguish between sugars. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Chemical Formula of Sugar?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/chemical-formula-of-sugar-604003. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 28). What Is the Chemical Formula of Sugar? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/chemical-formula-of-sugar-604003 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Chemical Formula of Sugar?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/chemical-formula-of-sugar-604003 (accessed June 25, 2022). copy citation Watch Now: What Makes Sugar So Addictive?