Molecular Formula for Sugar, or Sucrose

A sucrose molecule is made from two monosaccharide sugars minus water

Sucrose
Chemical structure of sucrose. Todd Helmenstine

There are several different types of sugar, but generally when one asks for the molecular formula of sugar, the question refers to table sugar or sucrose. The molecular formula for sucrose is C12H22O11. Each sugar molecule contains 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, and 11 oxygen atoms.

Sucrose is a disaccharide, meaning it is made by joining two sugar subunits. It forms when the monosaccharide sugars glucose and fructose react in a condensation reaction. The equation for the reaction is:

C6H12O6 + C6H12O6 → C12H22O11 + H2O

glucose + fructose → sucrose + water

A simple way to remember the molecular formula of sugar is to recall that the molecule is made from two monosaccharide sugars minus water:

2 x C6H12O6 - H2O = C12H22O11