61 Names for Sugar

Keep your eye out for these different terms for the sweet stuff.

A person is looking at an ingredients label, specifically sugar amounts.

Food manufacturers are nothing if not creative. The FDA’s food packaging rules require ingredients to be listed by weight. If food makers relied on only cane sugar or corn syrup to sweeten their products, the recognizable name for sugar would appear in the top three ingredients. And would-be buyers — especially parents — might be less willing to buy the food.

So food makers began to diversify. Instead of adding 100 grams of cane sugar to a food, they might add 10 grams of 10 different sugars. Keeping the weights down keeps the ingredients lower on the label. Creating 61 names for sugar confuses consumers and lowers the odds of recognition.

When sugars are hidden it’s difficult to make an educated choice. But Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, professor of health policy at the University of California, San Francisco, and her team at SugarScience.org, a university-based site dedicated to educating the public about the health hazards of sugar, are on a mission to track them down and make them known. The FDA’s new labeling (see “Sweet News About Food Labels“) should reduce this kind of shell game, but, until then, Schmidt wants you to know all 61 names for sugar.

  • Agave nectar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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