Oh How Sweet It Is - Sugar

The wonderfully tasty and brilliantly sweet

WHAT is it?

Sugar is the generalised name for a class of sweet-flavored substances used as food. They are carbohydrates and as this name implies, are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources

HOW is it made?

The process whereby plants make sugars is photosynthesis. The plant takes in carbon dioxide from the air though pores in its leaves and absorbs water through its roots. These are combined to make sugar using energy from the sun and with the help of a substance called chlorophyll.

WHERE can we find it?

Sugar (sucrose) comes from plant sources. Two important sugar crops predominate: sugarcane and sugar beets Minor commercial sugar crops include the date palm and the sugar maple.

Want to know more?

  • Sucrose is obtained by extraction of these crops with hot water, concentration of the extract gives syrups, from which solid sucrose can be crystallized.
  • The production of table sugar has a long history. The army of Alexander the Great was halted on the banks of river Indus by the refusal of his troops to go further east. They saw people in the Indian subcontinent growing sugarcane and making granulated, salt-like sweet powder, locally called साखर, pronounced as saccharum (ζάκχαρι). On their return journey, the Macedonian soldiers carried the "honey bearing reeds."