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Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, ...
s, many of which are used in
food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is i ...
. Table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, refers to
sucrose Sucrose is common sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. It has the molecular formula C12H22O11. For human consum ...

sucrose
, a
disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar formed when two monosaccharides are joined by glycosidic linkage. Like monosaccharides, disaccharides are simple sugars soluble in water. Three common examples are sucrose, lacto ...
composed of glucose and fructose. Simple sugars, also called
monosaccharide Monosaccharides (from Greek ''monos'': single, ''sacchar'': sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest form of sugar and the most basic units (monomers) of carbohydrates. The general formula is , albeit not all molecules fitting this for ...
s, include
glucose Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula . Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy fr ...
,
fructose Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic simple sugar found in many plants, where it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide sucrose. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absor ...
, and
galactose Galactose (, ''galacto-'' + ''-ose'', "milk sugar") sometimes abbreviated Gal, is a monosaccharide sugar that is about as sweet as glucose, and about 65% as sweet as sucrose. It is an aldohexose and a C-4 epimer of glucose. A galactose molecule l ...
. Compound sugars, also called
disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar formed when two monosaccharides are joined by glycosidic linkage. Like monosaccharides, disaccharides are simple sugars soluble in water. Three common examples are sucrose, lacto ...
s or double sugars, are molecules composed of two monosaccharides joined by a
glycosidic bond A glycosidic bond or glycosidic linkage is a type of covalent bond that joins a carbohydrate (sugar) molecule to another group, which may or may not be another carbohydrate. and ethanol combine to form ethyl glucoside and water. The reaction ofte ...
. Common examples are
sucrose (table sugar)
sucrose (table sugar)
(glucose + fructose),
lactose Lactose is a disaccharide. It is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C12H22O11. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from ' (gen. '), the Latin word for milk, plus the su ...

lactose
(glucose + galactose), and
maltose} Maltose ( or ), also known as maltobiose or malt sugar, is a disaccharide formed from two units of glucose joined with an α(1→4) bond. In the isomer isomaltose, the two glucose molecules are joined with an α(1→6) bond. Maltose is the two-un ...
(two molecules of glucose). In the body, compound sugars are
hydrolysed Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution, elimination, and solvation reactions in which water is the nucleophile. Biological hydrolysis is ...
into simple sugars. Longer chains of monosaccharides are not regarded as sugars, and are called
oligosaccharide An oligosaccharide (/ˌɑlɪgoʊˈsækəˌɹaɪd/; from the Greek ὀλίγος ''olígos'', "a few", and σάκχαρ ''sácchar'', "sugar") is a saccharide polymer containing a small number (typically three to ten) of monosaccharides (simple sugar ...
s or
polysaccharide , a beta-glucan polysaccharide Image:amylose 3Dprojection.svg">350px, Amylose is a linear polymer of glucose mainly linked with α(1→4) bonds. It can be made of several thousands of glucose units. It is one of the two components of starch, th ...
s.
Starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants for energy storage. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is conta ...
is a glucose polymer found in plants, and is the most abundant source of energy in human food. Some other chemical substances, such as
glycerol Glycerol (; also called glycerine or glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic, but deliberate consumption is not recommended unless used as an intentional suppository. ...
and
sugar alcohol Sugar alcohols (also called polyhydric alcohols, polyalcohols, alditols or glycitols) are organic compounds, typically derived from sugars, containing one hydroxyl group (–OH) attached to each carbon atom. They are white, water-soluble solids th ...
s, may have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugar. Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants.
Honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects (such as honeydew), by regurgitation, enzymatic a ...
and
fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosperms disseminate seeds. Edible fruits, in particular, have propagated ...
are abundant natural sources of unbounded simple sugars. Sucrose is especially concentrated in
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane refers to several species and hybrids of tall perennial grass in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae, that are used for sugar production. The plants are 2-6 m (6-20 ft) tall with stout, jointed, fibrous stalks ...
and
sugar beet A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production. In plant breeding it is known as the Altissima cultivar group of the common beet (''Beta vulgaris''). Together with ...
, making them ideal for efficient commercial
extract An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material, often by using a solvent such as ethanol, oil or water. Extracts may be sold as tinctures, absolutes or in powder form. The aromatic principles of many spices, nuts, herbs, ...
ion to make refined sugar. In 2016, the combined world production of those two crops was about two billion
tonne The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms. It is commonly referred to as a metric ton in the United States. It is equivalent to approximately pounds, or approximately 0.984 long tons (UK). The offi ...
s. Maltose may be produced by
malt Malt is germinated cereal grain that has been dried in a process known as "malting". The grain is made to germinate by soaking in water and is then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Malting grain develops the enzymes (α ...
ing grain. Lactose is the only sugar that cannot be extracted from plants. It can only be found in
milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals, including breastfed human infants before they are able to digest solid food. Early-lactation milk is calle ...

milk
, including human breast milk, and in some
dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility t ...
s. A cheap source of sugar is
corn syrup Corn syrup is a food syrup which is made from the starch of corn (called maize in many countries) and contains varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade. Corn syrup, also known as glucose syrup to confectioners, ...

corn syrup
, industrially produced by converting corn
starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants for energy storage. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is conta ...
into sugars, such as maltose, fructose and glucose. Sucrose is used in prepared foods (e.g. cookies and cakes), is sometimes added to commercially available
processed food Convenience food, or tertiary processed food, is food that is commercially prepared (often through processing) to optimise ease of consumption. Such food is usually ready to eat without further preparation. It may also be easily portable, have ...
and beverages, and may be used by people as a sweetener for foods (e.g. toast and cereal) and beverages (e.g. coffee and tea). The average person consumes about of sugar each year, with
North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east and west. ''North'' is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. Etymology The word ''north'' is re ...

North
and
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also be described as a southern subcontinent of the Americas. The ref ...
ns consuming up to and
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of it ...

Africa
ns consuming under . As sugar consumption grew in the latter part of the 20th century, researchers began to examine whether a diet high in sugar, especially refined sugar, was damaging to
human health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in which disease and infirmity are absent.World Health Organization. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Documents'', Forty-fifth edition, Supplement, Octo ...
. Excessive consumption of sugar has been implicated in the onset of
obesity Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a pe ...
,
diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly known as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period of time. Symptoms often include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased appetite. I ...
,
cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs include stroke, heart ...
,
dementia Dementia occurs as a set of related symptoms when the brain is damaged by injury or disease. The symptoms involve progressive impairments to memory, thinking, and behavior, that affect the ability to look after oneself as a measure of carrying ...
, and
tooth decay Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is the breakdown of teeth due to acids made by bacteria. The cavities may be a number of different colors from yellow to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complicat ...
. Numerous studies have tried to clarify those implications, but with varying results, mainly because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that consume little or no sugar. In 2015, the
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency's governing structure and principles, states its main objective as ...
recommended that adults and children reduce their intake of
free sugar Free sugars are defined by the World Health Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in multiple reports as "all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus sugars naturally present ...
s to less than 10%, and encouraged a reduction to below 5%, of their total energy intake.


Etymology

The
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is the study of the history of words. By extension, t ...
reflects the spread of the commodity. From
Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had d ...
(''śarkarā''), meaning "ground or candied sugar", came Persian ''shakar'', then to
12th century The 12th century is the period from 1101 to 1200 in accordance with the Julian calendar. In the history of European culture, this period is considered part of the High Middle Ages and is sometimes called the Age of the Cistercians. The Golde ...
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, a French language which originated in France, and its various dialects ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Fr ...
''sucre'' and the English ''sugar''. The English word ''
jaggery Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar consumed in Kenya and the Indosphere. It is a concentrated product of cane juice and often date or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark ...

jaggery
'', a coarse
brown sugar Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar) ...
made from
date palm ''Phoenix dactylifera'', commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. The species is widely cultivated across Northern Africa, the Middle East and South A ...
sap or
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane refers to several species and hybrids of tall perennial grass in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae, that are used for sugar production. The plants are 2-6 m (6-20 ft) tall with stout, jointed, fibrous stalks ...
juice, has a similar etymological origin: Portuguese ''jágara'' from the Malayalam ''cakkarā'', which is from the Sanskrit ''śarkarā''.


History


Ancient world to Renaissance


Asia

Sugar has been produced in the
Indian subcontinent#REDIRECT Indian subcontinent#REDIRECT Indian subcontinent {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Indian subcontinent
since ancient times and its cultivation spread from there into modern-day Afghanistan through the
Khyber Pass The Khyber Pass (خیبر درہ) is a mountain pass in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan (Nangarhar Province). It connects the town of Landi Kotal to the Valley of Peshawar at Jamrud by traversing part of t ...
. It was not plentiful nor cheap in early times, and in most parts of the world,
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects (such as honeydew), by regurgitation, enzymatic a ...
was more often used for sweetening. Originally, people chewed raw sugarcane to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of tropical Indian subcontinent (South Asia) and Southeast Asia. Different species seem to have originated from different locations with ''
Saccharum barberi ''Saccharum barberi'' is a strong-growing species of grass in the genus ''Saccharum'', the sugarcanes. It originates from northern India and has been exported to other countries and grown for the production of sugar. The species name commemorates ...
'' originating in
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
and '' S. edule'' and '' S. officinarum'' coming from
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the world's second-largest island, and with an area of , the largest island in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in Melanesia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, it is separate ...

New Guinea
. One of the earliest historical references to sugarcane is in Chinese manuscripts dating to 8th century BCE, which state that the use of sugarcane originated in India. In the tradition of Indian medicine ( āyurveda), the sugarcane is known by the name ''Ikṣu'' and the sugarcane juice is known as ''Phāṇita''. Its varieties, synonyms and characteristics are defined in nighaṇṭus such as the Bhāvaprakāśa (1.6.23, group of sugarcanes). Sugar remained relatively unimportant until the Indians discovered methods of turning
sugarcane juice Sugarcane juice is the liquid extracted from pressed sugarcane. It is consumed as a beverage in many places, especially where sugarcane is commercially grown, such as Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, North Africa, and Latin America. Suga ...
into granulated crystals that were easier to store and to transport.Adas, Michael (January 2001). ''Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History''. Temple University Press. . p. 311. Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas, around the 5th century CE. In the local Indian language, these crystals were called ''khanda'' (
Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida (alphasyllabary), based on the ancient ' ...
: खण्ड, ), which is the source of the word ''candy''. Indian sailors, who carried
clarified butter Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the components to separate by density. The water evaporates, some solids float to t ...
and sugar as supplies, introduced knowledge of sugar along the various
trade routes A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single ...
they travelled. Traveling Buddhist monks took sugar crystallization methods to China.Kieschnick, John (2003). ''The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture''
Princeton University Press Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within academia and society at large. The press was founded by Whitney Darrow, with the financial supp ...
. .
During the reign of
Harsha Harsha (c. 590–647 CE), also known as Harshavardhana, was an Indian emperor who ruled North India from 606 to 647 CE. He was a member of the Vardhana dynasty; and was the son of Prabhakaravardhana who defeated the Alchon Huna invaders, and t ...
(r. 606–647) in
North India North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India. The dominant geographical features of North India are the Indus-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas, which demarcate the region from the Tibetan Plateau and Central ...
, Indian envoys in
Tang China The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
taught methods of cultivating sugarcane after
Emperor Taizong of Tang Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 59810July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for ...
(r. 626–649) made known his interest in sugar. China established its first sugarcane plantations in the seventh century.Sen, Tansen. (2003). ''Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600–1400''. Manoa: Asian Interactions and Comparisons, a joint publication of the University of Hawaii Press and the Association for Asian Studies. . pp. 38–40. Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 CE, to obtain technology for sugar refining.Kieschnick, John (2003). ''The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture''
Princeton University Press Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within academia and society at large. The press was founded by Whitney Darrow, with the financial supp ...
. 258. .
In the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of cooking and desserts.


Europe

Nearchus Nearchus or Nearchos ( el, Νέαρχος; – 300 BC) was one of the officers, a navarch, in the army of Alexander the Great. He is known for his celebrated expeditionary voyage starting from the Indus River, through the Persian Gulf and ending at ...
, admiral of
Alexander of Macedonia Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus'') of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. ...
, knew of sugar during the year 325 BC, because of his participation in the campaign of India led by Alexander (''
Arrian Arrian of Nicomedia (; Greek: ''Arrianos''; la, Lucius Flavius Arrianus; ) was a Greek historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the Roman period. ''The Anabasis of Alexander'' by Arrian is considered the best sour ...
, Anabasis''). The Greek physician
Pedanius Dioscorides Pedanius Dioscorides ( grc-gre, Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης, ; 40–90 AD) was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author of ''De materia medica'' (, On Medical Material) —a 5-volume Greek encyclopedia about herbal med ...
in the 1st century CE described sugar in his medical treatise
De Materia Medica#REDIRECT De materia medica#REDIRECT De materia medica {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
, and
Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of emperor Vespasian. He wrote the encyclopedic ''Natural ...

Pliny the Elder
, a 1st-century CE Roman, described sugar in his
Natural History Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is calle ...
: "Sugar is made in Arabia as well, but Indian sugar is better. It is a kind of honey found in cane, white as gum, and it crunches between the teeth. It comes in lumps the size of a hazelnut. Sugar is used only for medical purposes."Faas, Patrick, (2003)
''Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome''
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 149.
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
brought sugar back to Europe after their campaigns in the
Holy Land The Holy Land (Hebrew: , la, Terra Sancta; Arabic: or ) is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the reg ...
, where they encountered caravans carrying "sweet salt". Early in the 12th century, Venice acquired some villages near
Tyre Tyre may refer to: * Tire, the outer part of a wheel Places * Tyre, Lebanon, a city ** See of Tyre, a Christian diocese seated in Tyre, Lebanon ** Tyre Hippodrome, a UNESCO World Heritage site * Tyre District, Lebanon * Tyre, New York, a town in t ...
and set up estates to produce sugar for export to Europe. It supplemented the use of honey, which had previously been the only available sweetener. Crusade chronicler
William of Tyre William of Tyre ( la, Willelmus Tyrensis; 113029 September 1186) was a medieval prelate and chronicler. As archbishop of Tyre, he is sometimes known as William II to distinguish him from his predecessor, William I, the Englishman, a former Pri ...

William of Tyre
, writing in the late 12th century, described sugar as "very necessary for the use and health of mankind". In the 15th century,
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are ...
was the chief sugar refining and distribution center in Europe. There was a drastic change in the mid-15th century, when
São Tomé São Tomé is the capital and largest city of the Central African island country of São Tomé and Príncipe. Its name is Portuguese for "Saint Thomas". Founded in the 15th century, it is one of Africa's oldest colonial cities. History Álvaro C ...
,
Madeira Madeira ( , also , ), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira ( pt, Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal, the other being the Azores. It is an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, in a ...
, and the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia. At their closest point to the African mainland, they are west of Morocco. ...
were settled from Europe, and sugar grown there. After this an "all-consuming passion for sugar ... swept through society" as it became far more easily available, though initially still very expensive. By 1492, Madeira was producing over of sugar annually.
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 I ...
, one of the centers of distribution, became known for candied fruit, while Venice specialized in pastries, sweets (candies), and
sugar sculpture Roses and leaves made from pulled sugar Sugar sculpture is the art of producing artistic centerpieces entirely composed of sugar and sugar derivatives. These were very popular at grand feasts from the Renaissance until at least the 18th century, ...
s. Sugar was considered to have "valuable medicinal properties" as a "warm" food under prevailing categories, being "helpful to the stomach, to cure cold diseases, and sooth lung complaints". A feast given in
Tours Tours ( , ) is the prefecture of the Indre-et-Loire department and largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of Western France, although it is not the regional prefecture, which is the region's second-largest city, Orléans. In 2017, the c ...
in 1457 by Gaston de Foix, which is "probably the best and most complete account we have of a late medieval banquet" includes the first mention of sugar sculptures, as the final food brought in was "a heraldic menagerie sculpted in sugar: lions, stags, monkeys ... each holding in paw or beak the arms of the Hungarian king". Other recorded grand feasts in the decades following included similar pieces. Originally the sculptures seem to have been eaten in the meal, but later they become merely table decorations, the most elaborate called '' triomfi''. Several significant sculptors are known to have produced them; in some cases their preliminary drawings survive. Early ones were in brown sugar, partly
cast Cast may refer to: Music * Cast (band), an English alternative rock band * Cast (Mexican band), a progressive Mexican rock band * The Cast, a Scottish musical duo: Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis * ''Cast'', a 2012 album by Trespassers William * ' ...
in molds, with the final touches carved. They continued to be used until at least the Coronation Banquet for
Edward VII of the United Kingdom Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert ...
in 1903; among other sculptures every guest was given a sugar crown to take away.


Modern history

''Hacienda La Fortuna.'' A sugar mill complex in Puerto Rico, painted by Francisco_Oller_in_1885,_Brooklyn_Museum_.html" ;"title="Brooklyn_Museum.html" ;"title="Francisco Oller in 1885, Brooklyn Museum">Francisco Oller in 1885, Brooklyn Museum ">Brooklyn_Museum.html" ;"title="Francisco Oller in 1885, Brooklyn Museum">Francisco Oller in 1885, Brooklyn Museum In August 1492, Christopher Columbus collected sugar cane samples in La Gomera in the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in a region known as Macaronesia. At their closest point to the African mainland, they are west of Morocco. ...
, and introduced it to the New World. The cuttings were planted and the first sugar-cane harvest in
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti/ quisqueya) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and the regi ...
took place in 1501. Many sugar mills had been constructed in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Car ...
and
Jamaica Jamaica () is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica lies about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola ...
by the 1520s. The Portuguese took sugar cane to
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 millio ...
. By 1540, there were 800 cane-sugar mills in
Santa Catarina Island Santa Catarina Island ( pt, Ilha de Santa Catarina) is an island in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, located off the southern coast. It is home to the state capital, Florianópolis. Location Santa Catarina Island is approximately 54  ...
and another 2,000 on the north coast of Brazil,
Demarara Demerara ( nl, Demerary) is a historical region in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of the country of Guyana. It was a Dutch colony until 1815 and a county of British Guiana from 1838 to 1966. It was located about ...
, and Surinam. It took until 1600 for Brazilian sugar production to exceed that of
São Tomé São Tomé is the capital and largest city of the Central African island country of São Tomé and Príncipe. Its name is Portuguese for "Saint Thomas". Founded in the 15th century, it is one of Africa's oldest colonial cities. History Álvaro C ...
, which was the main center of sugar production in sixteenth century. Sugar was a luxury in Europe until the early 19th century, when it became more widely available, due to the rise of
beet sugar A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production. In plant breeding it is known as the Altissima cultivar group of the common beet (''Beta vulgaris''). Together with ...
in
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centered on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was ''de facto'' dissolved by an e ...
, and later in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of Fr ...
under
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Empe ...
. Beet sugar was a German invention, since, in 1747,
Andreas Sigismund Marggraf Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (; 3 March 1709 – 7 August 1782) was a German chemist from Berlin, then capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and a pioneer of analytical chemistry. He isolated zinc in 1746 by heating calamine and carbon. Though he ...
announced the discovery of sugar in beets and devised a method using alcohol to extract it. Marggraf's student,
Franz Karl Achard Franz Karl Achard (28 April 1753 – 20 April 1821) was a German (Prussian) chemist, geoscientist, physicist, and biologist. His principal discovery was the production of sugar from sugar beets. Life and work Achard was born in Berlin, the son of ...
, devised an economical industrial method to extract the sugar in its pure form in the late 18th century. Achard first produced beet sugar in 1783 in Kaulsdorf, and in 1801, the world's first beet sugar production facility was established in Cunern,
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is approximately , and the population is estimated at around 8,000,000. Silesia is split into two main ...
(then part of Prussia). The works of Marggraf and Achard were the starting point for the sugar industry in Europe, and for the modern sugar industry in general, since sugar was no longer a luxury product and a product almost only produced in warmer climates. Sugar became highly popular and by the 19th century, sugar came to be considered a necessity. This evolution of taste and demand for sugar as an essential food ingredient resulted in major economic and social changes. Demand drove, in part, the colonization of tropical islands and areas where labor-intensive sugarcane plantations and sugar manufacturing could be successful. The demand for cheap labor to perform the labor-intensive cultivation and processing increased the European demand for
enslaved Africans The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route ...
. After slavery was abolished, the demand for workers in European colonies in the Caribbean was filled by indentured laborers from
Indian subcontinent#REDIRECT Indian subcontinent#REDIRECT Indian subcontinent {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Indian subcontinent. Millions of enslaved or indentured laborers were brought to various European colonies in the Americas, Africa and Asia (as a result of demand in Europe for among other commodities, sugar), influencing the ethnic mixture of numerous nations around the globe. Sugar also led to some industrialization of areas where sugar cane was grown. For example, in the 1790s Lieutenant J. Paterson, of the
Bengal Presidency The Bengal Presidency, officially the Presidency of Fort William and later Bengal Province, was a subdivision of the British Empire in India. At the height of its territorial jurisdiction, it covered large parts of what is now South Asia and Sou ...
promoted to the
British parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British overseas territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other politic ...
the idea that sugar cane could grow in
British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in India. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one form or another, the ...
, where it had started, with many advantages and at less expense than in the West Indies. As a result, sugar factories were established in
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a state in eastern India. It is the third-largest state by population and twelfth-largest by territory, with an area of . It is contiguous with Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to t ...
in eastern India. During the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions. It produced a brief period of French ...
, sugar-beet production increased in continental Europe because of the difficulty of importing sugar when shipping was subject to
blockade 300px, C47s unloading at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, part of the airlift of supplies which broke the Soviet Union's 1948 Berlin Blockade, land blockade of West Berlin A blockade is an effort to cut off Contraband, supplies, Materiel, war ...
. By 1880 the sugar beet was the main source of sugar in Europe. It was also cultivated in
Lincolnshire Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs.) is a county in the East Midlands of England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south-east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south-west, Leicestershire an ...
and other parts of England, although the United Kingdom continued to import the main part of its sugar from its colonies. Until the late nineteenth century, sugar was purchased in
loaves Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history, it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world. It is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant import ...
, which had to be cut using implements called sugar nips. In later years, granulated sugar was more usually sold in bags. Sugar cubes were produced in the nineteenth century. The first inventor of a process to produce sugar in cube form was
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieva ...

Moravia
n Jakub Kryštof Rad, director of a sugar company in
Dačice Dačice (; german: Datschitz) is a town in Jindřichův Hradec District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 7,300 inhabitants. Despite administratively being a part of the South Bohemian Region, the town lies in the hist ...
. He began sugar-cube production after being granted a five-year patent for the process on January 23, 1843.
Henry Tate Sir Henry Tate, 1st Baronet (11 March 18195 December 1899) was an English sugar merchant and philanthropist, noted for establishing the Tate Gallery in London. Life and career Born in White Coppice, a hamlet near Chorley, Lancashire, Tate was t ...
of
Tate & Lyle Tate & Lyle PLC is a British-headquartered, global supplier of food and beverage ingredients to industrial markets. It was originally a sugar refining business, but from the 1970s it began to diversify, eventually divesting its sugar business in ...
was another early manufacturer of sugar cubes at his refineries in
Liverpool Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approximately , making it the tenth-largest English district by population. Liverpool's metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the United Kin ...
and
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
. Tate purchased a patent for sugar-cube manufacture from German
Eugen Langen Carl Eugen Langen (9 October 1833 in Cologne – 2 October 1895 in Elsdorf) was a German entrepreneur, engineer and inventor, involved in the development of the petrol engine and the Wuppertal Suspension Railway. In 1857 he worked in his father's ...
, who in 1872 had invented a different method of processing of sugar cubes. Sugar was rationed during World War I and more sharply during World War II. This led to the development and use of various
artificial sweeteners A sugar substitute is a food additive that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy than sugar-based sweeteners, making it a zero-calorie (non-nutritive) or low-calorie sweetener. Artificial sweet ...
.


Chemistry

Scientifically, ''sugar'' loosely refers to a number of carbohydrates, such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, or
oligosaccharide An oligosaccharide (/ˌɑlɪgoʊˈsækəˌɹaɪd/; from the Greek ὀλίγος ''olígos'', "a few", and σάκχαρ ''sácchar'', "sugar") is a saccharide polymer containing a small number (typically three to ten) of monosaccharides (simple sugar ...
s. Monosaccharides are also called "simple sugars", the most important being glucose. Most monosaccharides have a formula that conforms to with n between 3 and 7 (
deoxyribose Deoxyribose, or more precisely 2-deoxyribose, is a monosaccharide with idealized formula H−(C=O)−(CH2)−(CHOH)3−H. Its name indicates that it is a deoxy sugar, meaning that it is derived from the sugar ribose by loss of an oxygen atom. Deox ...
being an exception).
Glucose Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula . Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy fr ...
has the
molecular formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound or molecule, using chemical element symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as parent ...
. The names of typical sugars end with -''ose'', as in "
glucose Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula . Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy fr ...
" and "
fructose Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic simple sugar found in many plants, where it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide sucrose. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absor ...
". Sometimes such words may also refer to any types of
carbohydrates is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, ...
soluble in water. The acyclic mono- and disaccharides contain either
aldehyde Chemically, an aldehyde is a compound containing a functional group with the structure −CHO, consisting of a carbonyl center (a carbon double-bonded to oxygen) with the carbon atom also bonded to hydrogen and to any generic alkyl or side chain R ...
groups or
ketone In chemistry, a ketone is a functional group with the structure R2C=O, where R can be a variety of carbon-containing substituents. Ketones contain a carbonyl group (a carbon-oxygen double bond). The simplest ketone is acetone (R = R' = methyl ...
groups. These carbon-oxygen double bonds (C=O) are the reactive centers. All saccharides with more than one ring in their structure result from two or more monosaccharides joined by
glycosidic bond A glycosidic bond or glycosidic linkage is a type of covalent bond that joins a carbohydrate (sugar) molecule to another group, which may or may not be another carbohydrate. and ethanol combine to form ethyl glucoside and water. The reaction ofte ...
s with the resultant loss of a molecule of water () per bond.
Monosaccharides Monosaccharides (from Greek ''monos'': single, ''sacchar'': sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest form of sugar and the most basic units (monomers) of carbohydrates. The general formula is , albeit not all molecules fitting this for ...
in a closed-chain form can form glycosidic bonds with other monosaccharides, creating disaccharides (such as sucrose) and polysaccharides (such as
starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants for energy storage. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is conta ...
).
Enzymes Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates into different molecules k ...
must hydrolyze or otherwise break these glycosidic bonds before such compounds become
metabolized Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes; the conve ...

metabolized
. After digestion and absorption the principal monosaccharides present in the blood and internal tissues include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Many
pentoseIn chemistry, a pentose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) with five carbon atoms. The chemical formula of all pentoses is , and their molecular weight is 150.13 g/mol.hexose In chemistry, a hexose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) with six carbon atoms. The chemical formula for all hexoses is C6H12O6, and their molecular weight is 180.156 g/mol. Hexoses exist in two forms, open-chain or cyclic, that easily convert in ...
s can form ring structures. In these closed-chain forms, the aldehyde or ketone group remains non-free, so many of the reactions typical of these groups cannot occur. Glucose in solution exists mostly in the ring form at
equilibrium List of types of equilibrium, the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced, in a wide variety of contexts. Equilibrium may also refer to: Film and television * ''Equilibrium'' (film), a 2002 science fiction film * ''T ...
, with less than 0.1% of the molecules in the open-chain form.


Natural polymers

Biopolymer Biopolymers are natural polymers produced by the cells of living organisms. Biopolymers consist of monomeric units that are covalently bonded to form larger molecules. There are three main classes of biopolymers, classified according to the monome ...
s of sugars are common in nature. Through photosynthesis, plants produce
glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, also known as triose phosphate or 3-phosphoglyceraldehyde and abbreviated as G3P, GA3P, GADP, GAP, TP, GALP or PGAL, is the metabolite that occurs as an intermediate in several central pathways of all organisms.Nelson, D ...
(G3P), a phosphated 3-carbon sugar that is used by the cell to make monosaccharides such as glucose () or (as in cane and beet) sucrose (). Monosaccharides may be further converted into such as
cellulose Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of β(1→4) linked D-glucose units. Cellulose is an important structural component of the primary cell wall of ...
and
pectin Commercially produced powder of pectin, extracted from citrus fruits. Pectin (from grc, πηκτικός ', "congealed, curdled") is a structural acidic heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary and middle lamella and cell walls of terrestria ...

pectin
for
cell wall A cell wall is a structural layer surrounding some types of cells, just outside the cell membrane. It can be tough, flexible, and sometimes rigid. It provides the cell with both structural support and protection, and also acts as a filtering mecha ...
construction or into energy reserves in the form of storage polysaccharides such as starch or
inulin Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants, industrially most often extracted from chicory. The inulins belong to a class of dietary fibers known as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a mean ...
. Starch, consisting of two different polymers of glucose, is a readily degradable form of chemical
energy In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object.The second law of thermodynamics imposes limitations on the capacity of a system to transfer energy by p ...
stored by
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or religious recluse lives * Prison cell, a room used to hold peopl ...
, and can be converted to other types of energy. Another polymer of glucose is cellulose, which is a linear chain composed of several hundred or thousand glucose units. It is used by plants as a structural component in their cell walls. Humans can digest cellulose only to a very limited extent, though
ruminant Ruminants are herbivorous mammals of the suborder Ruminantia that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through microbial actions. The process, which takes pla ...
s can do so with the help of
symbiotic Symbiosis (from Greek , , "living together", from , , "together", and , bíōsis, "living") is any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different biological organisms, be it mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic. ...
bacteria in their gut.
DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, g ...
and
RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. RNA and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are nucleic acids. Along with lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates ...

RNA
are built up of the monosaccharides
deoxyribose Deoxyribose, or more precisely 2-deoxyribose, is a monosaccharide with idealized formula H−(C=O)−(CH2)−(CHOH)3−H. Its name indicates that it is a deoxy sugar, meaning that it is derived from the sugar ribose by loss of an oxygen atom. Deox ...
and
ribose Ribose is a simple sugar and carbohydrate with molecular formula C5H10O5 and the linear-form composition H−(C=O)−(CHOH)4−H. The naturally-occurring form, -ribose, is a component of the ribonucleotides from which RNA is built, and so this c ...
, respectively. Deoxyribose has the formula and ribose the formula .


Flammability and heat response

Because sugars burn easily when exposed to flame, the handling of sugars risks
dust explosion A dust explosion is the rapid combustion of fine particles suspended in the air within an enclosed location. Dust explosions can occur where any dispersed powdered combustible material is present in high-enough concentrations in the atmosphere or o ...
. The risk of explosion is higher when the sugar has been milled to superfine texture, such as for use in
chewing gum#REDIRECT Chewing gum#REDIRECT Chewing gum {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
. The
2008 Georgia sugar refinery explosion The 2008 Georgia sugar refinery explosion was an industrial disaster that occurred on February 7, 2008, in Port Wentworth, Georgia, United States. Fourteen people were killed and forty injured when a dust explosion occurred at a sugar refinery ow ...
, which killed 14 people and injured 40, and destroyed most of the refinery, was caused by the ignition of sugar dust. In its culinary use, exposing sugar to heat causes
caramelization Caramelization is the browning of sugar, a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting sweet nutty flavor and brown color. The brown colors are produced by three groups of polymers: caramelans (C24H36O18), caramelens (C36H50O25), and cara ...
. As the process occurs, volatile chemicals such as
diacetyl Diacetyl (IUPAC systematic name: butanedione or butane-2,3-dione) is an organic compound with the chemical formula (CH3CO)2. It is a yellow or green liquid with an intensely buttery flavor. It is a vicinal diketone (two C=O groups, side-by-side). D ...
are released, producing the characteristic
caramel Caramel ( or ) is a medium to dark-orange confectionery product made by heating a variety of sugars. It can be used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, or as a topping for ice cream, and custard. The process of cara ...
flavor.


Types


Monosaccharides

Fructose, galactose, and glucose are all simple sugars,
monosaccharide Monosaccharides (from Greek ''monos'': single, ''sacchar'': sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest form of sugar and the most basic units (monomers) of carbohydrates. The general formula is , albeit not all molecules fitting this for ...
s, with the general formula C6H12O6. They have five hydroxyl groups (−OH) and a carbonyl group (C=O) and are cyclic when dissolved in water. They each exist as several
isomer In chemistry, isomers are molecules or polyatomic ions with identical molecular formulas — that is, same number of atoms of each element — but distinct arrangements of atoms in space. Isomerism is existence or possibility of isomers. Isomers ...
s with dextro- and laevo-rotatory forms that cause polarized light to diverge to the right or the left. *
Fructose Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic simple sugar found in many plants, where it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide sucrose. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absor ...
, or fruit sugar, occurs naturally in fruits, some root vegetables, cane sugar and honey and is the sweetest of the sugars. It is one of the components of sucrose or table sugar. It is used as a high-fructose syrup, which is manufactured from hydrolyzed corn starch that has been processed to yield
corn syrup Corn syrup is a food syrup which is made from the starch of corn (called maize in many countries) and contains varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade. Corn syrup, also known as glucose syrup to confectioners, ...

corn syrup
, with enzymes then added to convert part of the glucose into fructose. *
Galactose Galactose (, ''galacto-'' + ''-ose'', "milk sugar") sometimes abbreviated Gal, is a monosaccharide sugar that is about as sweet as glucose, and about 65% as sweet as sucrose. It is an aldohexose and a C-4 epimer of glucose. A galactose molecule l ...
generally does not occur in the free state but is a constituent with glucose of the disaccharide
lactose Lactose is a disaccharide. It is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C12H22O11. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from ' (gen. '), the Latin word for milk, plus the su ...

lactose
or milk sugar. It is less sweet than glucose. It is a component of the antigens found on the surface of
red blood cell Red blood cells (RBCs), also referred to as red cells, red blood corpuscles (in humans or other animals not having nucleus in red blood cells), haematids, erythroid cells or erythrocytes (from Greek ''erythros'' for "red" and ''kytos'' for "hollo ...
s that determine
blood groups The term human blood group systems is defined by International Society of Blood Transfusion as systems in the human species where cell-surface antigens—in particular, those on blood cells—are "controlled at a single gene locus or by two or more ...
. *
Glucose Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula . Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy fr ...
occurs naturally in fruits and plant juices and is the primary product of
photosynthesis Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel the organism's metabolic activities. This chemical energy is stored in ...

photosynthesis
. Most ingested carbohydrates are converted into glucose during digestion and it is the form of sugar that is transported around the bodies of animals in the bloodstream. Glucose syrup is a liquid form of glucose that is widely used in the manufacture of foodstuffs. It can be manufactured from starch by
enzymatic hydrolysisEnzymatic hydrolysis is a process in which enzymes facilitate the cleavage of bonds in molecules with the addition of the elements of water. It plays an important role in the digestion of food. It may be used to help provide renewable energy, as wit ...
. *
Dextrose Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula . Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy fr ...
, sometimes called ''grape sugar'' because drying grape juice produces crystals of dextrose that can be
sieve The fine mesh strainer, also known as the sift, commonly known as sieve, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, typically using a woven screen such as ...
d from the other components, is a naturally occurring
isomer In chemistry, isomers are molecules or polyatomic ions with identical molecular formulas — that is, same number of atoms of each element — but distinct arrangements of atoms in space. Isomerism is existence or possibility of isomers. Isomers ...
(form) of glucose. Corn sugar, which is produced commercially by breaking down
corn starch Corn starch, maize starch, or cornflour (British English) is the starch derived from corn (maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the kernel. Corn starch is a common food ingredient, often used to thicken sauces or soups, an ...
, is one common source of purified dextrose. However, dextrose is naturally present in many unprocessed,
whole food , old (top) and new (bottom). Blue Smarties were re-introduced by Nestlé in the UK in February 2008, using a "natural" blue dye derived from the cyanobacterium spirulina rather than synthetic blue dye. Natural food and all-natural food are terms ...
s, including
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects (such as honeydew), by regurgitation, enzymatic a ...
and fruits such as
grape A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus ''Vitis''. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, grape juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, ...

grape
s.


Disaccharides

Lactose, maltose, and sucrose are all compound sugars,
disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar formed when two monosaccharides are joined by glycosidic linkage. Like monosaccharides, disaccharides are simple sugars soluble in water. Three common examples are sucrose, lacto ...
s, with the general formula C12H22O11. They are formed by the combination of two monosaccharide molecules with the exclusion of a molecule of water. *
Lactose Lactose is a disaccharide. It is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C12H22O11. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from ' (gen. '), the Latin word for milk, plus the su ...

Lactose
is the naturally occurring sugar found in milk. A molecule of lactose is formed by the combination of a molecule of galactose with a molecule of glucose. It is broken down when consumed into its constituent parts by the enzyme
lactase Lactase is an enzyme produced by many organisms. It is located in the brush border of the small intestine of humans and other mammals. Lactase is essential to the complete digestion of whole milk; it breaks down lactose, a sugar which gives milk it ...
during digestion. Children have this enzyme but some adults no longer form it and they are unable to digest lactose. *
Maltose} Maltose ( or ), also known as maltobiose or malt sugar, is a disaccharide formed from two units of glucose joined with an α(1→4) bond. In the isomer isomaltose, the two glucose molecules are joined with an α(1→6) bond. Maltose is the two-un ...
is formed during the germination of certain grains, the most notable being
barley Barley (''Hordeum vulgare''), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia as early as 10,000 years ago. Barley has been used as ani ...

barley
, which is converted into
malt Malt is germinated cereal grain that has been dried in a process known as "malting". The grain is made to germinate by soaking in water and is then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Malting grain develops the enzymes (α ...
, the source of the sugar's name. A molecule of maltose is formed by the combination of two molecules of glucose. It is less sweet than glucose, fructose or sucrose. It is formed in the body during the digestion of starch by the enzyme
amylase An amylase () is an enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of starch (Latin ) into sugars. Amylase is present in the saliva of humans and some other mammals, where it begins the chemical process of digestion. Foods that contain large amounts of st ...
and is itself broken down during digestion by the enzyme
maltase Maltase (, ''alpha-glucosidase'', ''glucoinvertase'', ''glucosidosucrase'', ''maltase-glucoamylase'', ''alpha-glucopyranosidase'', ''glucosidoinvertase'', ''alpha-D-glucosidase'', ''alpha-glucoside hydrolase'', ''alpha-1,4-glucosidase'', ''alpha ...
. *
Sucrose Sucrose is common sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. It has the molecular formula C12H22O11. For human consum ...

Sucrose
is found in the stems of sugarcane and roots of sugar beet. It also occurs naturally alongside fructose and glucose in other plants, in particular fruits and some roots such as carrots. The different proportions of sugars found in these foods determines the range of sweetness experienced when eating them. A molecule of sucrose is formed by the combination of a molecule of glucose with a molecule of fructose. After being eaten, sucrose is split into its constituent parts during digestion by a number of enzymes known as
sucraseSucrase is a digestive enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose to its subunits fructose and glucose. One form, sucrase-isomaltase, is secreted in the small intestine on the brush border. The sucrase enzyme invertase, which occurs more commonl ...

sucrase
s.


Sources

The sugar contents of common fruits and vegetables are presented in Table 1. The fructose to fructose plus glucose ratio is calculated by including the fructose and glucose coming from the sucrose. In November 2019, scientists reported detecting, for the first time, sugar molecules, including
ribose Ribose is a simple sugar and carbohydrate with molecular formula C5H10O5 and the linear-form composition H−(C=O)−(CHOH)4−H. The naturally-occurring form, -ribose, is a component of the ribonucleotides from which RNA is built, and so this c ...
, in
meteorite A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon. When the original object e ...
s, suggesting that chemical processes on
asteroid An asteroid is a minor planet of the inner Solar System. Historically, these terms have been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not resolve into a disc in a telescope and was not observed to have characteristics of an ...
s can produce some fundamentally essential bio-ingredients important to
life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because the ...
, and supporting the notion of an
RNA World The RNA world is a hypothetical stage in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, in which self-replicating RNA molecules proliferated before the evolution of DNA and proteins. The term also refers to the hypothesis that posits the existence of ...
prior to a DNA-based
origin of life In evolutionary biology, abiogenesis, or informally the origin of life (OoL),Compare: is the natural process by which life has arisen from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. While the details of this process are still unkn ...
on Earth, and possibly, as well, the notion of
panspermia Panspermia () is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, planetoids, and also by spacecraft carrying unintended contamination by microorganisms.Forward planetary contaminati ...
. : The carbohydrate figure is calculated in the USDA database and does not always correspond to the sum of the sugars, the starch, and the dietary fiber.


Production

Due to rising demand, sugar production in general increased some 14% over the period 2009 to 2018. The largest importers were China,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, ...

Indonesia
, and the United States.


Sugarcane

Global production of
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane refers to several species and hybrids of tall perennial grass in the genus ''Saccharum'', tribe Andropogoneae, that are used for sugar production. The plants are 2-6 m (6-20 ft) tall with stout, jointed, fibrous stalks ...
in 2016 was 1.9 billion tonnes, with Brazil producing 41% of the world total and India 18% (table). Sugarcane refers to any of several species, or their hybrids, of giant grasses in the genus ''
Saccharum ''Saccharum'' is a genus of tall perennial plants of the broomsedge tribe within the grass family. The genus is widespread across tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions in Africa, Eurasia, Australia, the Americas, and assorted oceanic ...
'' in the family
Poaceae Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and species cultivated in lawns and pasture. ...
. They have been cultivated in tropical climates in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia over centuries for the sucrose found in their stems. A great expansion in sugarcane production took place in the
18th century The 18th century lasted from January 1, 1701 (MDCCI) to December 31, 1800 (MDCCC). The term is often used to refer to the 1700s, the century between January 1, 1700 and December 31, 1799. During the 18th century, elements of Enlightenment thi ...
with the establishment of
slave plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil palms, frui ...
s in the Americas. The use of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
for the labor-intensive process resulted in sugar production, enabling prices cheap enough for most people to buy. Mechanization reduced some labor needs, but in the
21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the ''Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001 (MMI), and will end on December 31, 2100 (MMC). The 21st century is the first ...
, cultivation and production relied on low-wage laborers. Sugar cane requires a frost-free climate with sufficient rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant's substantial growth potential. The crop is harvested mechanically or by hand, chopped into lengths and conveyed rapidly to the processing plant (commonly known as a
sugar mill A sugar cane mill is a factory that processes sugar cane to produce raw or white sugar. The term is also used to refer to the equipment that crushes the sticks of sugar cane to extract the juice. Processing There are a number of steps in prod ...
) where it is either milled and the juice extracted with water or extracted by diffusion. The juice is clarified with lime and heated to destroy
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates into different molecules k ...
s. The resulting thin syrup is concentrated in a series of evaporators, after which further water is removed. The resulting Supersaturation, supersaturated solution is seeded with sugar crystals, facilitating crystal formation and drying. Molasses is a by-product of the process and the fiber from the stems, known as bagasse, is burned to provide energy for the sugar extraction process. The crystals of raw sugar have a sticky brown coating and either can be used as they are, can be bleached by sulfur dioxide, or can be treated in a carbonatation process to produce a whiter product. About of irrigation water is needed for every one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of sugar produced.


Sugar beet

In 2016, global production of
sugar beet A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production. In plant breeding it is known as the Altissima cultivar group of the common beet (''Beta vulgaris''). Together with ...
s was 277 million
tonne The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms. It is commonly referred to as a metric ton in the United States. It is equivalent to approximately pounds, or approximately 0.984 long tons (UK). The offi ...
s, led by Russia with 19% of the world total (table). The sugar beet became a major source of sugar in the 19th century when methods for extracting the sugar became available. It is a biennial plant, a cultivar, cultivated variety of ''Beta vulgaris'' in the Family (biology), family Amaranthaceae, the tuberous root of which contains a high proportion of sucrose. It is cultivated as a root crop in temperate regions with adequate rainfall and requires a fertile soil. The crop is harvested mechanically in the autumn and the crown of leaves and excess soil removed. The roots do not deteriorate rapidly and may be left in the field for some weeks before being transported to the processing plant where the crop is washed and sliced, and the sugar extracted by diffusion. Milk of lime is added to the raw juice with carbonatation, calcium carbonate. After water is evaporated by boiling the syrup under a vacuum, the syrup is cooled and seeded with sugar crystals. The white sugar that crystallizes can be separated in a centrifuge and dried, requiring no further refining.


Refining

Refined sugar is made from raw sugar that has undergone a refining process to remove the molasses. Raw sugar is
sucrose Sucrose is common sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. It has the molecular formula C12H22O11. For human consum ...

sucrose
which is extracted from sugarcane or
sugar beet A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production. In plant breeding it is known as the Altissima cultivar group of the common beet (''Beta vulgaris''). Together with ...
. While raw sugar can be consumed, the refining process removes unwanted tastes and results in refined sugar or white sugar. The sugar may be transported in bulk to the country where it will be used and the refining process often takes place there. The first stage is known as affination and involves immersing the sugar crystals in a concentrated syrup that softens and removes the sticky brown coating without dissolving them. The crystals are then separated from the liquor and dissolved in water. The resulting syrup is treated either by a carbonatation or by a phosphatation process. Both involve the precipitation of a fine solid in the syrup and when this is filtered out, many of the impurities are removed at the same time. Removal of color is achieved by using either a granular activated carbon or an ion-exchange resin. The sugar syrup is concentrated by boiling and then cooled and seeded with sugar crystals, causing the sugar to crystallize out. The liquor is spun off in a centrifuge and the white crystals are dried in hot air and ready to be packaged or used. The surplus liquor is made into refiners' molasses. The International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis sets standards for the measurement of the purity of refined sugar, known as ICUMSA numbers; lower numbers indicate a higher level of purity in the refined sugar. Refined sugar is widely used for industrial needs for higher quality. Refined sugar is purer (ICUMSA below 300) than raw sugar (ICUMSA over 1,500). The level of purity associated with the colors of sugar, expressed by standard number International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis, ICUMSA, the smaller ICUMSA numbers indicate the higher purity of sugar.


Forms and uses


Crystal size

* Coarse-grain sugar, also known as sanding sugar, composed of reflective crystals with grain size of about 1 to 3 mm, similar to kitchen salt. Used atop baked products and candies, it will not dissolve when subjected to heat and moisture. * Granulated sugar (about 0.6 mm crystals), also known as table sugar or regular sugar, is used at the table, to sprinkle on foods and to sweeten hot drinks (coffee and tea), and in home baking to add sweetness and texture to baked products (cookies and cakes) and desserts (pudding and ice cream). It is also used as a preservative to prevent micro-organisms from growing and perishable food from spoiling, as in candied fruits, jams, and marmalades. * Milled sugars are ground to a fine powder. They are used for dusting foods and in baking and confectionery. ** Caster sugar, sold as "superfine" sugar in the United States, with grain size of about 0.35 mm ** Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, available in varying degrees of fineness (e.g., fine powdered or 3X, very fine or 6X, and ultra-fine or 10X). The ultra-fine variety (sometimes called 10X) has grain size of about 0.060 mm, that is about ten times smaller than granulated sugar. ** Snow powder, a non-melting form of powdered sugar usually consisting of glucose, rather than sucrose. * Screened sugars are crystalline products separated according to the size of the grains. They are used for decorative table sugars, for blending in dry mixes and in baking and confectionery.


Shapes

* Sugar cubes(:de:Würfelzucker, de) (sometimes called sugar lumps) are white or brown granulated sugars lightly steamed and pressed together in block shape. They are used to sweeten drinks. * Sugarloaf was the usual cone-form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century. This shape is still in use in Germany (for preparation of ''Feuerzangenbowle'') as well as Iran and Morocco.


Brown sugars

Brown sugars are granulated sugars, either containing residual molasses, or with the grains deliberately coated with molasses to produce a light- or dark-colored sugar. They are used in baked goods, confectionery, and toffees. Their darkness is due to the amount of molasses they contain. They may be classified based on their darkness or country of origin. For instance: * Light brown, with little content of molasses (about 3.5%) * Dark brown, with higher content of molasses (about 6.5%) * Non-centrifugal cane sugar, unrefined and hence very dark cane sugar obtained by evaporating water from sugarcane juice, such as: ** Panela, also known as rapadura, chancaca, piloncillo. ** Some varieties of muscovado, also known as Barbados sugar. Other varieties are partially refined by centrifugation or by using a spray dryer. ** Some varieties of
jaggery Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar consumed in Kenya and the Indosphere. It is a concentrated product of cane juice and often date or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark ...

jaggery
. Other varieties are produced from date fruits or from palm sugar, palm sap, rather than sugarcane juice.


Liquid sugars

*
Honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretions of other insects (such as honeydew), by regurgitation, enzymatic a ...
, mainly containing unbound molecules of fructose and glucose, is a viscous liquid produced by bees by digesting floral nectar. * Syrups are thick, viscous liquids consisting primarily of a solution of sugar in water. They are used in the food processing of a wide range of products including beverages, hard candy, ice cream, and Fruit preserves, jams. ** Syrups made by dissolving granulated sugar in water are sometimes referred to as liquid sugar. A liquid sugar containing 50% sugar and 50% water is called simple syrup. ** Syrups can also be made by reduction (cooking), reducing naturally sweet juices such as sugarcane, cane juice, or maple syrup, maple sap. ** Corn syrup is made by converting
corn starch Corn starch, maize starch, or cornflour (British English) is the starch derived from corn (maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the kernel. Corn starch is a common food ingredient, often used to thicken sauces or soups, an ...
to sugars (mainly maltose and glucose). ** High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is produced by further processing corn syrup to convert some of its glucose into fructose. ** Inverted sugar syrup, commonly known as invert syrup or invert sugar, is a mixture of two simple sugars—glucose and fructose—that is made by heating granulated sugar in water. It is used in breads, cakes, and beverages for adjusting sweetness, aiding moisture retention and avoiding crystallization of sugars. * Molasses and treacle are obtained by removing sugar from sugarcane or sugar beet juice, as a byproduct of sugar production. They may be blended with the above-mentioned syrups to enhance sweetness and used in a range of baked goods and confectionery including toffees and licorice. ** Blackstrap molasses, also known as black treacle, has dark color, relatively small sugar content and strong flavour. It is sometimes added to animal feed, or processed to produce rum, or ethanol for fuel. ** Regular molasses and golden syrup treacle have higher sugar content and lighter color, relative to blackstrap. * In winemaking, sugars in wine, fruit sugars are converted into alcohol by a fermentation (wine), fermentation process. If the must formed by pressing the fruit has a low sugar content, additional sugar may be added to raise the alcohol content of the wine in a process called chaptalization. In the production of sweet wines, fermentation may be halted before it has run its full course, leaving behind some Sweetness of wine, residual sugar that gives the wine its sweet taste.


Other sweeteners

* Low-calorie sweeteners are often made of maltodextrin with added sweeteners. Maltodextrin is an easily digestible synthetic
polysaccharide , a beta-glucan polysaccharide Image:amylose 3Dprojection.svg">350px, Amylose is a linear polymer of glucose mainly linked with α(1→4) bonds. It can be made of several thousands of glucose units. It is one of the two components of starch, th ...
consisting of short chains of three or more glucose molecules and is made by the partial hydrolysis of starch. Strictly, maltodextrin is not classified as sugar as it contains more than two glucose molecules, although its structure is similar to
maltose} Maltose ( or ), also known as maltobiose or malt sugar, is a disaccharide formed from two units of glucose joined with an α(1→4) bond. In the isomer isomaltose, the two glucose molecules are joined with an α(1→6) bond. Maltose is the two-un ...
, a molecule composed of two joined glucose molecules. * Polyols are
sugar alcohol Sugar alcohols (also called polyhydric alcohols, polyalcohols, alditols or glycitols) are organic compounds, typically derived from sugars, containing one hydroxyl group (–OH) attached to each carbon atom. They are white, water-soluble solids th ...
s and are used in chewing gums where a sweet flavor is required that lasts for a prolonged time in the mouth. * Several different kinds of zero-calorie artificial sweeteners may be also used as sugar substitutes.


Consumption

In most parts of the world, sugar is an important part of the human diet, making food more palatable and providing food energy. After cereals and vegetable oils, sugar derived from sugarcane and beet provided more kilocalories per capita per day on average than other food groups. According to one source, per capita consumption of sugar in 2016 was highest in the United States, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.


Nutrition and flavor

Brown and white granulated sugar are 97% to nearly 100%
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, ...
s, respectively, with less than 2% water, and no dietary fiber, protein or fat (table). Brown sugar contains a moderate amount of iron (15% of the Reference Daily Intake in a 100 gram amount, see table), but a typical serving of 4 grams (one teaspoon), would provide 15 calories and a negligible amount of iron or any other nutrient. Because brown sugar contains 5–10% molasses reintroduced during processing, its value to some consumers is a richer flavor than white sugar.


Health effects


Sugar industry funding and health information

Sugar refiners and manufacturers of sugary foods and drinks have sought to influence medical research and public health recommendations, with substantial and largely clandestine spending documented from the 1960s to 2016. The results of research on the health effects of sugary food and drink differ significantly, depending on whether the researcher has financial ties to the food and drink industry. A 2013 medical review concluded that "unhealthy commodity industries should have no role in the formation of national or international NCD [non-communicable disease] policy". There have been similar efforts to steer coverage of sugar-related health information in popular media, including news media and social media.


Obesity and metabolic syndrome

A 2003
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency's governing structure and principles, states its main objective as ...
technical report provided evidence that high intake of sugary drinks (including fruit juice) increased the risk of
obesity Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a pe ...
by adding to overall energy intake. By itself, sugar is not a factor causing obesity and metabolic syndrome, but rather – when over-consumed – is a component of unhealthy dietary behavior. meta-analysis, Meta-analyses showed that excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increased the risk of developing Diabetes mellitus type 2, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome – including weight gain and obesity – in adults and children.


Hyperactivity

A 2019 meta-analysis found that sugar consumption does not improve mood (psychology), mood, but can lower alertness and increase fatigue within an hour of consumption. Some studies report evidence of causality between high consumption of refined sugar and hyperactivity. One review of low-quality studies of children consuming high amounts of energy drinks showed association with higher rates of unhealthy behaviors, including smoking and excessive alcohol use, and with hyperactivity and insomnia.


Tooth decay

The 2003 WHO report stated that "Sugars are undoubtedly the most important dietary factor in the development of dental caries". A review of human studies showed that the incidence of caries is lower when sugar intake is less than 10% of total energy consumed.


Nutritional displacement

The Empty calorie, "empty calories" argument states that a diet high in added sugar will reduce consumption of foods that contain essential nutrients. This nutrient displacement occurs if sugar makes up more than 25% of daily energy intake, a proportion associated with poor diet quality and risk of obesity. Displacement may occur at lower levels of consumption.


Alzheimer's disease

Claims have been made of a sugar–Alzheimer's disease connection, but there is inconclusive evidence that cognitive decline is related to dietary fructose or overall energy intake.


Recommended dietary intake

The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency's governing structure and principles, states its main objective as ...
recommends that both adults and children reduce the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake, and suggests a reduction to below 5%. "Free sugars" include
monosaccharide Monosaccharides (from Greek ''monos'': single, ''sacchar'': sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest form of sugar and the most basic units (monomers) of carbohydrates. The general formula is , albeit not all molecules fitting this for ...
s and
disaccharide A disaccharide (also called a double sugar or ''biose'') is the sugar formed when two monosaccharides are joined by glycosidic linkage. Like monosaccharides, disaccharides are simple sugars soluble in water. Three common examples are sucrose, lacto ...
s added to foods, and sugars found in fruit juice and concentrates, as well as in honey and syrups. According to the WHO, "[t]hese recommendations were based on the totality of available evidence reviewed regarding the relationship between free sugars intake and body weight (low and moderate quality evidence) and dental caries (very low and moderate quality evidence)." On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced changes to the Nutrition Facts panel displayed on all foods, to be effective by July 2018. New to the panel is a requirement to list "Added sugars" by weight and as a percent of Daily Value (DV). For vitamins and minerals, the intent of DVs is to indicate how much should be consumed. For added sugars, the guidance is that 100% DV should not be exceeded. 100% DV is defined as 50 grams. For a person consuming 2000 calories a day, 50 grams is equal to 200 calories and thus 10% of total calories—the same guidance as the World Health Organization. To put this in context, most 355 mL (12 US fl oz) cans of soda contain 39 grams of sugar. In the United States, a government survey on food consumption in 2013–2014 reported that, for men and women aged 20 and older, the average total sugar intakes—naturally occurring in foods and added—were, respectively, 125 and 99 g/day.


Measurements

Various culinary sugars have different densities due to differences in particle size and inclusion of moisture. Domino Sugar gives the following weight to volume conversions (in United States customary units): * Firmly packed brown sugar 1 lb = 2.5 cups (or 1.3 L per kg, 0.77 kg/L) * Granulated sugar 1 lb = 2.25 cups (or 1.17 L per kg, 0.85 kg/L) * Unsifted confectioner's sugar 1 lb = 3.75 cups (or 2.0 L per kg, 0.5 kg/L) The "Engineering Resources – Bulk Density Chart" published in ''Powder and Bulk'' gives different values for the bulk densities: * Beet sugar 0.80 g/mL * Dextrose sugar 0.62 g/mL ( = 620 kg/m^3) * Granulated sugar 0.70 g/mL * Powdered sugar 0.56 g/mL


Society and culture

Manufacturers of sugary products, such as soft drinks and candy, and the Sugar Association, Sugar Research Foundation have been accused of trying to influence consumers and medical associations in the 1960s and 1970s by creating doubt about the potential health hazards of sucrose overconsumption, while promoting saturated fat as the main dietary risk factor in
cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs include stroke, heart ...
s. In 2016, the criticism led to recommendations that diet policymakers emphasize the need for high-quality research that accounts for multiple biomarkers on development of cardiovascular diseases.


See also

* Barley sugar * Holing cane * List of unrefined sweeteners * Powdered sugar * Rare sugar * Sugar plantations in the Caribbean * Sugar substitute * Glycomics


Gallery

File:Sa brownsugar.jpg, Brown sugar crystals File:Vollrohrzucker Dattelpalme.JPG, Whole date palm#Fruit, date sugar File:Vollrohrzucker grau.JPG, Whole sugarcane, cane sugar (grey), Vacuum drying, vacuum-dried File:Vollrohrzucker braun.JPG, Whole cane sugar (brown), vacuum-dried File:Raw sugar closeup.jpg, alt=raw sugar closeup, Raw crystals of unrefined, unbleached sugar


References


Further reading

* * * *Peter Frankopan, Frankopan, Peter, ''The Silk Roads: A New History of the World'', 2016, Bloomsbury,


External links


Sugar
at the National Health Service {{Authority control Sugar, Carbohydrates Excipients Indian inventions