The most well-known and important to us is sucrose (table sugar). This is not only a significant carbohydrate for our body but also an important ingredient for added taste. As well as its sweetening effect, it also has a major influence on the consistency and “mouth feel” of the chocolate.
Sucrose is a disaccharide (double sugar) made up of glucose and fructose.
Glucose, also known as dextrose, is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) which is found, for example, in grapes; in German it is even known for this reason as “grape sugar” (Traubenzucker).
Glucose is of particular importance to our cells, as they use this simple sugar to produce most of their energy. It is absorbed faster compared with all other sugars. This carbohydrate is only problematic to people with diabetes; they lack insulin, a hormone produced naturally within our body which regulates its glucose level.
Fructose, also a monosaccharide (simple sugar) is a whole different case.
Unlike glucose, it is broken down by your metabolism without recourse to insulin. In other words, fructose only raises your blood sugar level slightly,
However, if you suffer from a fructose intolerance, it is best to avoid chocolate varieties which contain fruit such as sultanas, as honey, fruits, berries and various vegetable species, in particular, contain a great deal of fructose.
Lactose is a disaccharide (double sugar) made of the simple sugars glucose and galactose. This comes into chocolate in the form of whole milk powder, skimmed milk powder, sweet whey powder, full cream powder or, of course, as lactose.
Lactose is pleasantly sweet and also has a positive effect on the intestinal flora – unless you suffer from a lactose intolerance. In that case, you lack the enzyme beta-galactosidase, normally naturally produced by the body, and the lactose cannot be broken down.
This is the reason why RITTER SPORT makes lactose-free* and gluten-free** chocolates. These are not only healthy but also tasty to all those lactose-intolerant chocoholics.
*lactose content of at most 0.1g per 100g
**gluten content below 20 mg/kg (legally stipulated value for the “gluten-free” label)