Rare sugars are called rare for a reason—they're found in very small amounts in some fruits and a few other foods. Many rare sugars are niche products because of the challenges of producing them, yet once those hurdles have been overcome they have the potential to play a role in addressing the rising levels of diabetes and other diet-related diseases.

"Some plants can produce a trace amount, but not a lot," of rare sugars, explains Shota Atsumi, professor of chemistry at the University of Califor…

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About the Author

Danielle Beurteaux is a journalist who writes about science, technology, and food (@daniellebeurt and linkedin.com/in/daniellebeurteaux).