Sugar

Do you use Sugar daily?

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What is Sugar?

Sugar is a sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants.

What are the most common Ag sources of regular sugar?

How is sugar made?

Sugar cane stalks grow from old stalks planted in the ground. When their growing season is over (7 to 22 months) and the stalks are 7 to 15 feet tall, they are cut and taken to a sugar mill. At the sugar mill, machines wash, cut, and shred the stalks into a pulpy mass. With water continually sprayed on it, this pulpy mass is crushed between rollers to squeeze out the sugary juice, called cane juice. The liquid, now a dark grayish-green color, is heated to its boiling point, and chemicals are added to remove impurities. Next, the juice is placed in huge tanks to evaporate, leaving a thick syrup. This syrup is heated to remove more and more water until crystals form. These crystals must be separated from the syrup, so they are put into a centrifuge machine which spins it around rapidly. The sugar which is left inside the machine’s cylinders is called raw sugar. In this form, the sugar has uses to some manufacturers, but to make it suitable for food, it must go to a refinery. There, it is dissolved, treated with chemicals, filtered, crystalized once more, and allowed to solidify, this time into pure white sugar.


2 interesting facts about sugar

  • In 327 BC, Alexander the Great discovered the sugar cane; it then spread through Persia and introduced it in the Mediterranean.
  • Sugar cane stalks can reach 30 feet high.