Carbohydrates (saccharides) are divided into four chemical groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. In general, the monosaccharides and disaccharides, which are smaller (lower molecular weight) carbohydrates, are commonly referred to as sugars.
While the scientific nomenclature of carbohydrates is complex, the names of the monosaccharides and disaccharides very often end in the suffix -ose. For example, grape sugar is the monosaccharide glucose, cane sugar is the disaccharide sucrose, and milk sugar is the disaccharide lactose.
Sugars can be found in all kinds of raw materials and can be used for several purposes. For example, fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to acids, gases and/or alcohol. It occurs in yeast and bacteria, but also in oxygen-starved muscle cells. Fermentation is also used more broadly to refer to the bulk growth of microorganisms on a growth medium.