What is invert sugar? Is it healthier than regular sugar?
– Larissa Fuss Seattle, WA
Invert sugar is the term given to sucrose (table sugar) that is separated into glucose and fructose.
These two individual sugars are then manipulated to give invert sugar slightly different fructose-to-glucose ratios than that found in sucrose.
Food companies often prefer invert sugar since it is less prone to crystallization and helps retain moisture — and thereby prevent bacterial growth — in foods for longer periods of time than sucrose.
As fr as health is concerned– sugar is sugar is sugar. Whether you are talking about sucrose, invert sugar, or evaporated cane juice crystals, you are still looking at a nutrient-free four calories per gram.
The only case that can be made for healthier sweeteners is, for instance, when a food gets its sweetness from whole fruits (ie: snack bars that use dates as their only source of sugar). In that situation, the sugar source also provides nutrients and fiber.
Please do not mistake that with foods that contain fructose — fruit sugar — which, for all intents and purposes, is identical to table sugar.