Comparing Sweeteners

Here's a quick, side-by-side look at some of the most common types of sweeteners you find on nutrition labels. If you have more questions about sweeteners, check out our sweetener FAQ.

Hear from an expertJim Laidler, M.D., answers the question: How does high fructose corn syrup compare in composition to other sweeteners?

Additionally, here is chart comparing the levels of glucose and fructose and other sugars in different popular sweeteners:

Sugar is synonymous with the term sucrose, a disaccharide of 50% fructose and 50% glucose linked by a chemical bond. (C12H22O11)



1. See generally Alexander RJ. 1998. Sweeteners: Nutritive. Eagan Press; Coulston AM, Johnson RK. 2002. Sugar and sugars: Myths and realities. J Am Diet Assoc 102(3):351-353; Environmental Protection Agency, AP 42, Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, Vol. 1, § 9.10.1.1 Sugarcane Processing (5th ed.). Galloway JH. 1996. History of sugar - Domestication to the 17th Century, abstracted from Annals of the Ass'n of Am. Geographers, Vol. 86, No. 4, at 682-706 (Dec. 1996); Chou CC. 2000. Sugar refining processes and equipment, in Handbook of Sugar Refining: A Manual for the Design and Operation of Sugar Refining Facilities.

2. See generally Alexander RJ. 1998. Sweeteners: Nutritive. Eagan Press; National Honey Board. 2007. Honey: A Reference Guide to Nature's Sweetener.

3. See generally Alexander RJ. 1998. Sweeteners: Nutritive. Eagan Press; Hanover LM, White JS. 1993. Manufacturing, composition, and applications of fructose. Am J Clin Nutr 58(suppl 5):724S-732S; White JS. 1992. Fructose syrup: production, properties and applications, in FW Schenck & RE Hebeda, eds, Starch Hydrolysis Products - Worldwide Technology, Production, and Applications. VCH Publishers, Inc. 177-200.

4. See generally Olinger P, Pepper T. 2001. Xylitol, in O'Brien Nabors L, ed. Alternative Sweeteners. 3rd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 335-366; Calorie Control Council. 2007. Questions & Answers About Polyols.

5. See generally Pearson RL. 2001. Saccharin, in O'Brien Nabors L, ed. Alternative Sweeteners. 3rd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 147-165; Calorie Control Council. 2007. Low-Calorie Sweeteners: Saccharin.

6. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2009. Table 46—U.S. honey production, imports, exports, stocks, and average price, by calendar year. Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook.