Glucose has a chemical formula of C6H12O6. Its structure can be drawn as a straight chain or using the Fischer projection formula in which the carbons are replaced with numbers at each intersection of vertical and horizontal lines. Most sugars, such as glucose, normally exist in a cylic (ring) structure. The drawings of these shapes, known as Haworth formulas, consist of a 6-membered ring of glucose containing 5 carbon atoms and 1 oxygen atom. There are two versions of glucose in cylic form, α-glucose and β-glucose. Α-glucose has the –OH group at carbon 1 below the ring versus it being above the ring as in β-glucose. Glucose is a main component of sucrose, the substance most commonly referred to as sugar. It was this same sugar that fueled the slave trade. Although sugar was not the only substance that relied on slave labor, it was probably the most important. It was estimated that approximately two-thirds of African slaves in North America worked on sugar-growing plantations. In the sixteenth century, it was said that about ten thousand black slaves were shipped to these plantations annually. The slave trade relied heavily on sugar production, and sugar production relied heavily on slave trade as well. Later, once slavery was abolished, sugar trade still affected the movement of humans around the world. Many people, such as indentured laborers from India who went to Fiji to work on sugar plantations, moved according to the area in which sugar production was thriving.
I believe that sugar is more prominent and widely used in today’s world than in earlier times, even though many people are attempting to convert to artificial sweeteners versus glucose-included sugar. Whether it is for sweetening tea or baking, many people, especially Americans, use sugar to cook almost every day. It’s very well-known that people enjoy sweet foods. Almost all of these sweet foods are sweetened by sugar that includes glucose. I think that the authors’ point does indeed make sense. They were right in including the glucose molecule because other than the impact glucose had on the slave trade, glucose is also very influential in the present day as well as in the earlier centuries in which people often followed the successful sugar plantations and production.

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3 thoughts on “Glucose

  1. jakebeatty123

    I like the way that you described how often people use sugar in modern times, especially in America. I also think that you did a very good job in describing how the molecule can be drawn and how it is shaped. I also like how you described the history of sugar in the slave trade, and how it brought many slaves to America every year just for sugar.

  2. elissabowman

    Although I agree with the fact that sugar is widely used and relied on in today’s world, I also think it is used too much. Glucose can create health problems, such as diabetes, if consumed in large amounts on a regular basis. It is all a matter of moderation and control.

  3. athomsen56

    Awesome job explaining the chemical structure of glucose and the historical impact! Maybe some more information on synthetic attempts if that was in the book. Other than that, great job!

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