[ Fructose, D-fructose, fruit sugar ]

A monosaccharide with the molecular formula C6H12O6, commonly found in fruit.

Fructose functions biologically as a sweetener. By itself, it has no nutritional value except when converted into glucose or fat, where it may serve as a source of energy.

Fructose, along with glucose and galactose, are the principle dietary carbohydrates that are directly absorbed into the bloodstream. It is about 1.73 times as sweet as sucrose.

The highest dietary sources of fructose come from processed foods containing sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup or crystalline fructose. Agave nectar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, fruit and fruit juices are all high in fructose, either in its free monosaccharide form or as part of the disaccharide sucrose.

Fructose has characteristics that make it desirable in the food processing industry. It has a higher sweetness than sucrose (about 170%) which is perceived earlier than with other sugars and may intensify other flavours in foods.

It is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and the subject of controversy due to interfere with hormonal satiety signalling to the hypothalamus which may increase food cravings (Orexigenesis) and possible addiction.