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I have been making some yummy sorbets and ice creams.

Many recipes call for atomized glucose powder. However, 'atomized glucose powder' is not that readily available. 'Dextrose', however, is commonly available at local heath food stores here in Southern California.

There is some debate if dextrose is the same as atomized glucose. Specifically, look at this thread on eGullet where it is stated:

Dextrose is a type of glucose but is sweeter. Atomized glucose has what is called a sweetness coefficent of 50 while dextrose has one of 75.

Here are some other data points:

1. Wikipedia states:  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose)

Glucose (also known as D-glucose, dextrose, or grape sugar) is a simple monosaccharide found in plants.

2. Harold McGee in 'On Food and Cooking' states (p. 653 in the most recent edition):

Glucose, also called dextrose, is a simple sugar, and the most common sugar from which living cells directly extract chemical energy.

3. The Culinary Institute of America's 'Mastering the Art of Craft of Baking and Pastry', 
   2nd edition states in the glossary (p. 914)

Glucose: A monosaccaride that occurs naturally in fruits, some vegetables, and honey. Also known as dextrose.

4. Heston Blumenthal's 'The Fat Duck Cookbook' in the Science section (p. 456):

Glucose: Arguably, glucose is the most important and widespread sugar molecule in biology.

All glucose molecules come in two versions, a left-handed version called L-glucose and a right handed version called D-glucose. D-glucose is the only type produced by nature and the only type used in food.

I am persnickety about using just the right ingredient. Is dextrose powder that you find at the health food store exactly the same as the expensive imported atomized glucose powders that need to be ordered from a specialty pastry supplier? Or is ordering fancy French atomized glucose powder a pain when you can just buy 'dextrose' and substitute 1:1.

Most atomized glucose powder comes from Europe and dextrose is from American sources. Is this just a different term for the same thing?

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In normal stores in Europe, you also get dextrose. If there is "atomized powder", then it is probably only available at specialty pastry stores, or it is a name used in countries I haven't shopped in. –  rumtscho Jan 31 at 21:38
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1 Answer

"Atomized glucose" seems to be primarily a French product, derived from spray-drying glucose syrup. Glucose syrup is best known in America as corn syrup (e.g. light Karo, not HFCS), and is mostly, but not entirely, glucose. Dextrose is pure crystalline glucose. They are not exactly the same ingredient, and probably not interchangeable in fussy recipes.

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