fructose (frŭkˈtōs) [key], levulose lĕvˈyəlōsˌ, or fruit sugar, simple sugar found in honey and in the fruit and other parts of plants. It is much sweeter than sucrose (cane sugar). It is best obtained by hydrolysis of inulin, a polysaccharide found in dahlia bulbs and the Jerusalem artichoke. Chemically it is a monosaccharide (see carbohydrate) with the empirical formula C6H12O6. It has the same formula as glucose but differs from it in structure (see isomer). It is often found with glucose in nature. Glucose and fructose are formed in equal amounts when sucrose is hydrolyzed by the enzyme invertase or by heating with dilute acid; the resulting equimolar mixture of fructose and glucose, called invert sugar, is the major component of honey. Fructose reacts with Fehling's solution and can be differentiated from glucose by its reaction with lime water to form a water-insoluble precipitate, calcium fructosate. In solution, fructose exists as a ring compound in equilibrium with a straight-chain form.
More on fructose from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Organic Chemistry