Abstract Solid state/EPR (SS/EPR) dosimeters of carbon ions irradiated sucrose are studied with EPR, and their water solutions – with UV spectroscopy. Doses between 20 and 200 Gy are used with linear energy transfer (LET) values for carbon ions of 63, 77, 96 and 230 keV μm −1. After irradiation all samples show typical for irradiated sucrose EPR and UV spectra. The obtained data are compared with those previously reported for nitrogen particles and gamma rays irradiated sucrose. The identical shape of both the EPR and UV spectra of irradiated with various type radiation samples suggests that generated free radicals are not influenced by the nature of radiation. The lack of difference in the line width of the separate lines or the whole EPR spectrum, obtained for gamma and heavy particles irradiation, suggests negligible spin–spin interaction among the radiation-generated free radicals in the samples. The linear dependence of the EPR response on the absorbed dose radiation is found to be higher when generated by gamma rays, than by the same absorbed dose of heavy particles. In addition, the EPR response for carbon ions is higher than that for nitrogen ions. Water solutions of irradiated sucrose exhibit UV spectrum with absorption maximum at 267 nm, attributed to the recombination products of free radicals. The UV band intensity depends on the absorbed dose radiation. The UV spectra obtained for carbon, nitrogen and gamma rays irradiated sucrose are also compared.