The Human Body


Glucose, monosaccharide sugar,  C6H12O6. It is found in honey and the juices of many fruits; the alternate name grape sugar is derived from the presence of glucose in grapes. It is the sugar most often produced by hydrolysis of natural glycosides. Glucose is a normal constituent of the blood of animals (see Sugar Metabolism).

Glucose is a white crystalline solid, less sweet than ordinary table sugar. Solutions of glucose rotate the plane of polarization of polarized light to the right; hence the alternative name dextrose (Latin dexter, “right”). Glucose crystallizes in three different forms. The degree of rotation of polarized light is different for each form.

Glucose is formed by the hydrolysis of many carbohydrates, including sucrose, maltose, cellulose, starch, and glycogen. Fermentation of glucose by yeast produces ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Glucose is made industrially by the hydrolysis of starch under the influence of dilute acid or, more commonly, under that of enzymes. It is chiefly used as a sweetening agent in the food-processing industries. It is also used in tanning, in dye baths, in making tableted products, and in medicine for treating dehydration and for intravenous feeding.