Fructose Uses

Fructose is a sugar that can be found naturally in foods. It is found in fruits and is what gives fruit a sweet taste. Fructose is also manufactured in an artificial form. According to the American Dietetic Association, fructose has been extensively studied and found by the Food and Drug Administration and the International Life Sciences Institute to be completely safe for consumption. In most food applications, fructose has been found to be 1.2 times as sweet as table sugar. Several uses for fructose have been found, and not all of them are for consumption.

HMF Production

A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found a way to convert fructose into an intermediate chemical called hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). HMF can then be turned into other products of value, including diesel-fuel additives, plastics and diesel fuel. These products are typically made from petroleum or natural gas.

Crystalline Fructose

Crystalline fructose can be used as a sweetener. It boosts cake height in baked products and can sweeten foods and drinks. Crystalline fructose is commonly used as a sweetener in dry mix beverages, flavored water, energy and sports drinks, breakfast cereals, chocolate milk, yogurt, confections and fruit packs. It is also used as a low-calorie sweetener.

Long Shelf Life Uses

Because fructose has a relatively long shelf life, it is used to provide flavor in categories of food and beverage products that are relatively new, including soft moist cookies, nutrition bars, reduced calorie products and frozen juice concentrates that are pourable.

Culture Media

Fructose can also be used in cultures for scientific purposes. For example, fructose has been used as a culture media to grow bacteria called lactic acid bacteria (LAB), according to the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.

About this Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for 20 years and has a Master of Arts from UNC-Greensboro. He and his wife, Robin, are co-authors of books designed to help students, including the Free College Resource Book, Microsoft Word 2007 for Beginners, and the upcoming Learning New Techniques with Word 2010.