Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

What Is Sugar Made From?

What Is Sugar Made From?

Sugar is made by some plants to store energy that they don’t need straight away like animals make fat. Most of the sugar we eat comes from sugar cane and sugar beets.

People like sugar for its sweetness and its energy so some of these plants are grown commercially to extract the sugar. In making cane sugar, the long sugar cane stalks are shredded and the sweet juice is pressed out of them.

The juice is boiled until crystals of sugar form. As the sugar is refined, it changes from sticky, dark brown “raw” sugar to a white, fine-grained sugar. The thick brown syrup left after the refining process is molasses.

Sugar is made from the big, white sugar beet roots in almost the same way. We can’t tell from its taste whether the sugar we eat comes from sugar cane or sugar beets.

A high proportion of cane sugar is made in two stages. Raw sugar is made where the sugar cane grows and white sugar is made from the raw sugar in the country where it is needed.

Beet sugar is easier to purify and most is grown where it is needed so white sugar is made in only one stage.

Content for this question contributed by Chris Laitta, resident of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA