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Caster Sugar

Nutritional Information

1 serving packet, caster sugar

  • Calories 11
  • Calories from Fat 0
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 0mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 2.8g1%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 2.8g
  • Protein 0g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Caster Sugar on Wikipedia:

Sucrose IUPAC name   β-D-fructofuranosyl-(2→1)-α-D-glucopyranoside Other names sugar, saccharose, β-(2S,3S,4S,5R)-fructofuranosyl-α-(1R,2R,3S,4S,5R)-glucopyranoside Identifiers CAS number 57-50-1 Y PubChem 1115 EC-number 200-334-9 RTECS number WN6500000 SMILES   O1[C@H](CO)[C@@H](O)[C@H](O)[C@@H](O)[C@H]1O[C@@]2(O[C@@H]([C@@H]​(O)[C@@H]2O)CO)CO InChI   1/C12H22O11/c13-1-4-6(16)8(18)9(19)11(21-4)23-12(3-15)10(20)7(17)5(2-14)22-12/h4-11,13-20H,1-3H2/t4-,5-,6-,7-,8+,9-,10+,11-,12+/m1/s1 ChemSpider ID 5768 Properties[1] Molecular formula C12H22O11 Molar mass 342.30 g/mol Appearance white solid Density 1.587 g/cm3, solid Melting point

186 °C decomp.

Solubility in water 200 g/100 mL (25 °C) log P −3.76 Hazards MSDS ICSC 1507 EU Index not listed Related compounds Related compounds Lactose Maltose  Y (what is this?)  (verify) Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox references Solubility of Pure Sucrose Temperature(C) g Sucrose/g Water 50 2.59 55 2.73 60 2.89 65 3.06 70 3.25 75 3.46 80 3.69 85 3.94 90 4.20

Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar. This white, odorless, crystalline powder has a pleasing, sweet taste. It is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose with the molecular formula C12H22O11. About 150,000,000 tons are produced annually.[2]


Physical and chemical properties

Sucrose is a complicated molecule with many stereocenters and many sites that could or are reactive. Despite this simplicity, the molecule exists as a single isomer.

Structural β-D-fructofuranosyl-(2→1)-α-D-glucopyranoside

In sucrose, the component glucose and fructose are linked via an ether bond between C1 on the glucosyl subunit and C2 on the fructosyl unit. The bond is called a glycosidic linkage. Glucose exists predominantly as two isomeric ``pyranoses`` (α and β), but only one of these forms the links to the fructose. Fructose itself also exists as a mixture of forms, each of which has α and β isomers, but again only one particular isomer links to the glucosyl unit. What is notable about sucrose is that unlike most disaccharides, the glycosidic bond is formed between the reducing ends of both glucose and fructose, and not between the reducing end of one and the nonreducing end of the other. This linkage inhibits further bonding to other saccharide units. Since it contains no anomeric hydroxyl groups, it is classified as a nonreducing sugar.

3-Dimension picture of the sucrose molecule.

Crystallography is the technique that gives highly precise information on molecular structure. Sucrose crystallizes in the monoclinic space group P21, with values at 300K being a=1.08631 nm, b=0.87044 nm, c=0.77624 nm, β=102.938°.[3] [4]

The usual measure of purity of sucrose is by polarimetry — the measurement of the rotation of plane-polarized light by a solution of sugar. The specific rotation at 20 C using ``sodium-D`` light is +66.47°. Commercial samples of sugar are assayed using this parameter.

Thermal and oxidative degradation

Sucrose decomposes as it melts at 186 Â°C (367 Â°F) to form caramel. Like other carbohydrates, it combusts to carbon dioxide and water. For example, in the amateur rocket motor propellant called rocket candy it is the fuel together with the oxidizer potassium nitrate.[citation needed] Sucrose can be dehydrated with sulfuric acid to form a black, carbon-rich solid, as indicated in the following idealized equation:

C12H22O11 → 12 C + 11 H2O


Hydrolysis breaks the glycosidic bond, converting sucrose into glucose and fructose. Hydrolysis is, however, so slow that solutions of sucrose can sit for years with negligible change. If the enzyme sucrase is added, however, the reaction will proceed rapidly.[5] Hydrolysis can also be accelerated with acids, such as cream of tartar or lemon juice.

Synthesis and biosynthesis of sucrose

The biosynthesis of sucrose proceeds via the precursors glucose 1-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate. Sucrose is formed by plants but not by other organisms. Sucrose is found naturally in many food plants along with the monosaccharide fructose. In many fruits, such as pineapple and apricot, sucrose is the main sugar. In others, such as grapes and pears, fructose is the main sugar.

Chemical synthesis

Although sucrose is invariably isolated from natural sources, its chemical synthesis was first achieved in 1953 by Raymond Lemieux.[6]

As a food

Main article: History of sugar

Refined sugar was originally a luxury, but sugar eventually became sufficiently cheap and common to influence standard cuisine. Britain and the Caribbean islands have cuisines where the use of sugar became particularly prominent.

Sugar forms a major element in confectionery and in desserts. Cooks use it as a food preservative as well as for sweetening. Sucrose is important to the structure of many foods including biscuits and cookies, cakes and pies, candy, and ice cream and sorbets. Sucrose also assists in the preservation of foods. As such it is common in many processed and so-called “junk foods.”

Metabolism of sucrose

Granulated sucrose

In mammals, sucrose is readily digested in the stomach into its component sugars, by acidic hydrolysis. This step is performed by a glycoside hydrolase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose to the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Glucose and fructose are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine. Undigested sucrose passing into the intestine is also broken down by sucrase or isomaltase glycoside hydrolases, which are located in the membrane of the microvilli lining the duodenum. These products are also transferred rapidly into the bloodstream. Sucrose is digested by the enzyme invertase in bacteria and some animals.

Sucrose is an easily assimilated macronutrient that provides a quick source of energy, provoking a rapid rise in blood glucose upon ingestion. Over consumption of sucrose has been linked with adverse health effects. The most common is dental caries or tooth decay, in which oral bacteria convert sugars (including sucrose) from food into acids that attack tooth enamel. Sucrose, as a pure carbohydrate, has an energy content of 3.94 kilocalories per gram (or 17 kilojoules per gram). When a large amount of foods that contain a high percentage of sucrose is consumed, beneficial nutrients can be displaced from the diet, which can contribute to an increased risk for chronic disease. It has been suggested that sucrose-containing drinks may be linked to the development of obesity and insulin resistance.[7] Most soft drinks in the USA are now made with high fructose corn syrup, not sucrose, HFCS 55 contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose.

The rapidity with which sucrose raises blood glucose can cause problems for people suffering from defective glucose metabolism, such as persons with hypoglycemia or diabetes mellitus. Sucrose can contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome.[8] In an experiment with rats that were fed a diet one-third of which was sucrose, the sucrose first elevated blood levels of triglycerides, which induced visceral fat and ultimately resulted in insulin resistance.[9] Another study found that rats fed sucrose-rich diets developed high triglycerides, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance.[10]

Human health

This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. WikiProject Health or the Health Portal may be able to help recruit one. (April 2008)

Human beings have long sought sugars, but aside from wild honey, have not had access to the large quantities that characterize the modern diet. Studies have indicated potential links between processed sugar consumption and health hazards, including obesity and tooth decay[citation needed]. John Yudkin showed that the consumption of sugar and refined sweeteners is closely associated with coronary heart disease. It is also considered as a source of endogenous glycation processes[citation needed].

Tooth decay

Tooth decay has arguably become the most prominent health hazard associated with the consumption of sugar. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans live in dental plaque and metabolize sugars into lactic acid. High concentrations of acid may result on the surface of a tooth, leading to tooth demineralization.[11][12]

Glycemic index

Sucrose has a high glycemic index, which in turn causes an immediate response within the body's digestive system. Thus sucrose is transported directly into the blood. This causes an increase in blood sugar levels from a normal 90 mg/dL to up over 150 mg/dL.[13]


Diabetes, a disease that causes the body to metabolize sugar poorly, occurs when either:

the body attacks the cells producing insulin, the chemical that allows the metabolizing of sugar in the body's cells (Type 1 diabetes) the body's cells exhibit impaired responses to insulin (Type 2 diabetes)

When glucose builds up in the bloodstream, it can cause two problems:

in the short term, cells become starved for energy because they do not have access to the glucose in the long term, frequent glucose build-up increases the acidity of the blood, damaging many of the body's organs, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart

Authorities advise diabetics to avoid sugar-rich foods to prevent adverse reactions.[14]


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I and Continuous indicates that the population in the United States has increased its proportion of energy consumption from carbohydrates and decreased its proportion from total fat while obesity has increased. This implies, along with the United Nations report cited below, that obesity may correlate better with sugar consumption than with fat consumption, and that reducing fat consumption while increasing sugar consumption actually increases the level of obesity. The following table summarizes this study (based on the proportion of energy intake from different food sources for US Adults 20–74 years old, as carried out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD[15]):

Year Sex Carbohydrate Fat Protein Obesity 1971 Male 42.4% 36.9% 16.5% 12.1% 1971 Female 45.4% 36.1% 16.9% 16.6% 2000 Male 49.0% 32.8% 15.5% 27.7% 2000 Female 51.6% 32.8% 15.1% 34.0%

A 2002 study [1] conducted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded “There is no clear and consistent association between increased intakes of added sugars and BMI.” (BMI or ``Body mass index`` measures body-weight and height.)


The occurrence of the disorder is connected with an excess production of uric acid. A diet rich in sucrose may lead to gout as it raises the level of insulin, which prevents excretion of uric acid from the body. As the concentration of uric acid in the body increases, so does the concentration of uric acid in the joint liquid and beyond a critical concentration, the uric acid begins to precipitate into crystals. Researchers have implicated sugary drinks high in fructose in a surge in cases of the painful joint disease gout.[16][17]


A link between sugar and cancer has been conjectured for some time but this remains a controversial topic. Some recent studies lend support to this theory,[18] but no major medical or nutritional organization currently recommends reducing sugar consumption to prevent cancer.

United Nations nutritional advice

In 2003, four United Nations agencies (including the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization) commissioned a report compiled by a panel of 30 international experts. The panel stated that the total of free sugars (all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by manufacturers, cooks or consumers, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices) should not account for more than 10% of the energy intake of a healthy diet, while carbohydrates in total should represent between 55% and 75% of the energy intake.[19]

Debate on extrinsic sugar

Argument continues as to the value of extrinsic sugar (sugar added to food) compared to that of intrinsic sugar (naturally present in food). Adding sugar to food particularly enhances taste, but does increase the total number of calories, among other negative effects on health and physiology.

In the US, sugar has become increasingly evident in food products, as more food manufacturers add sugar or high fructose corn syrup to a wide variety of consumables. Candy bars, soft drinks, chips, snacks, fruit juice, peanut butter, soups, ice cream, jams, jellies, yogurt, and many breads may have added sugars.

Concerns of vegetarians and vegans

The sugar refining industry often uses bone char (calcinated animal bones) for decolorizing.[20][21] About 25% of sugar produced in the U.S. is processed using bone char as a filter, the remainder being processed with activated carbon. As bone char does not get into the sugar, the relevant authorities consider sugar processed this way as parve/kosher.[21]


Harvested sugarcane from India ready for processing.

Table sugar (sucrose) comes from plant sources. Two important sugar crops predominate: sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and sugar beets (Beta vulgaris), in which sugar can account for 12% to 20% of the plant's dry weight. Minor commercial sugar crops include the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare), and the sugar maple (Acer saccharum). In the financial year 2001/2002, worldwide production of sugar amounted to 134.1 million tonnes. Sucrose is obtained by extraction of these crops with hot water, concentration of the extract gives syrups, from which solid sucrose can be crystallized.

The first production of sugar from sugarcane took place in India. Alexander the Great's companions reported seeing ``honey produced without the intervention of bees`` and it remained exotic in Europe until the Arabs started producing it in Sicily and Spain. Only after the Crusades did it begin to rival honey as a sweetener in Europe. The Spanish began cultivating sugarcane in the West Indies in 1506 (and in Cuba in 1523). The Portuguese first cultivated sugarcane in Brazil in 1532.

Most cane sugar comes from countries with warm climates, such as Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Mexico and Australia, the top sugar-producing countries in the world.[22] Brazil overshadows most countries, with roughly 30 million tonnes of cane sugar produced in 2006, while India produced 21 million, China 11 million, and Thailand and Mexico roughly 5 million each. Viewed by region, Asia predominates in cane sugar production, with large contributions from China, India and Thailand and other countries combining to account for 40% of global production in 2006. South America comes in second place with 32% of global production; Africa and Central America each produce 8% and Australia 5%. The United States, the Caribbean and Europe make up the remainder, with roughly 3% each.[22]

Beet sugar comes from regions with cooler climates: northwest and eastern Europe, northern Japan, plus some areas in the United States (including California). In the northern hemisphere, the beet-growing season ends with the start of harvesting around September. Harvesting and processing continues until March in some cases. The availability of processing plant capacity, and the weather both influence the duration of harvesting and processing - the industry can lay up harvested beet until processed, but a frost-damaged beet becomes effectively unprocessable.

The European Union (EU) has become the world's second-largest sugar exporter. The Common Agricultural Policy of the EU sets maximum quotas for members' production to match supply and demand, and a price. Europe exports excess production quota (approximately 5 million tonnes in 2003). Part of this, ``quota`` sugar, gets subsidised from industry levies, the remainder (approximately half) sells as ``C quota`` sugar at market prices without subsidy. These subsidies and a high import tariff make it difficult for other countries to export to the EU states, or to compete with the Europeans on world markets.

The United States sets high sugar prices to support its producers, with the effect that many former consumers of sugar have switched to corn syrup (beverage manufacturers) or moved out of the country (candymakers).

The low prices of glucose syrups produced from wheat and corn (maize) threaten the traditional sugar market. Used in combination with artificial sweeteners, they can allow drink manufacturers to produce very low-cost goods.

Politics of sugar vs HFCS

Sucrose has been partially replaced in American industrial food production by other sweeteners such as fructose syrups or combinations of functional ingredients and high intensity sweeteners. This shift is attributable to governmental subsidies of U.S. sugar and an import tariff on foreign sugar, raising the price of sucrose to levels above those of the rest of the world.[23] Because of the artificially elevated price of sucrose, HFCS is cost efficient for many sweetener applications.


Main article: Sugarcane

Since the 6th century BC cane sugar producers have crushed the harvested vegetable material from sugarcane in order to collect and filter the juice. They then treat the liquid (often with lime (calcium oxide)) to remove impurities and then neutralize it. Boiling the juice then allows the sediment to settle to the bottom for dredging out, while the scum rises to the surface for skimming off. In cooling, the liquid crystallizes, usually in the process of stirring, to produce sugar crystals. Centrifuges usually remove the uncrystallized syrup. The producers can then either sell the resultant sugar, as is, for use; or process it further to produce lighter grades. This processing may take place in another factory in another country. Sugar cane appears fourth in the list [2] for agriculture in China.


Sugar beets Main article: Sugar beet

Beet sugar producers slice the washed beets, then extract the sugar with hot water in a ``diffuser``. An alkaline solution (``milk of lime`` and carbon dioxide from the lime kiln) then serves to precipitate impurities (see carbonatation). After filtration, evaporation concentrates the juice to a content of about 70% solids, and controlled crystallisation extracts the sugar. A centrifuge removes the sugar crystals from the liquid, which gets recycled in the crystalliser stages. When economic constraints prevent the removal of more sugar, the manufacturer discards the remaining liquid, now known as molasses.

Sieving the resultant white sugar produces different grades for selling.

Cane versus beet

Little perceptible difference exists between sugar produced from beet and that from cane. Chemical tests can distinguish the two, and some tests aim to detect fraudulent abuse of European Union subsidies or to aid in the detection of adulterated fruit juice.

The production of sugarcane needs approximately four times as much water as the production of sugar beet, therefore some countries that traditionally produced cane sugar (such as Egypt) have seen the building of new beet sugar factories recently[update]. On the other hand, sugar cane tolerates hot climates better. Some sugar factories process both sugar cane and sugar beets and extend their processing period in that way.

The production of sugar results in residues which differ substantially depending on the raw materials used and on the place of production. While cooks often use cane molasses in food preparation, humans find molasses from sugar beet unpalatable, and it therefore ends up mostly as industrial fermentation feedstock (for example in alcohol distilleries), or as animal feed. Once dried, either type of molasses can serve as fuel for burning.

Culinary sugars

Grainier, raw sugar.

So-called raw sugars comprise yellow to brown sugars made by clarifying the source syrup by boiling and drying with heat, until it becomes a crystalline solid, with minimal chemical processing.[citation needed] Raw beet sugars result from the processing of sugar beet juice, but only as intermediates en route to white sugar. Types of raw sugar include demerara, muscovado, and turbinado. Mauritius and Malawi export significant quantities of such specialty sugars. Manufacturers sometimes prepare raw sugar as loaves rather than as a crystalline powder, by pouring sugar and molasses together into molds and allowing the mixture to dry. This results in sugar-cakes or loaves, called jaggery or gur in India, pingbian tang in China, and panela, panocha, pile, piloncillo and pão-de-açúcar in various parts of Latin America. In South America, truly raw sugar, unheated and made from sugarcane grown on farms, does not have a large market-share.

Mill white sugar, also called plantation white, crystal sugar, or superior sugar, consists of raw sugar where the production process does not remove colored impurities, but rather bleaches them white by exposure to sulfur dioxide. Though the most common form of sugar in sugarcane-growing areas, this product does not store or ship well; after a few weeks, its impurities tend to promote discoloration and clumping.

Blanco directo, a white sugar common in India and other south Asian countries, comes from precipitating many impurities out of the cane juice by using phosphatation — a treatment with phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide similar to the carbonatation technique used in beet sugar refining. In terms of sucrose purity, blanco directo is more pure than mill white, but less pure than white refined sugar.

White refined sugar has become the most common form of sugar in North America as well as in Europe. Refined sugar can be made by dissolving raw sugar and purifying it with a phosphoric acid method similar to that used for blanco directo, a carbonatation process involving calcium hydroxide and carbon dioxide, or by various filtration strategies. It is then further purified by filtration through a bed of activated carbon or bone char depending on where the processing takes place. Beet sugar refineries produce refined white sugar directly without an intermediate raw stage. White refined sugar is typically sold as granulated sugar, which has been dried to prevent clumping.

Granulated sugar comes in various crystal sizes — for home and industrial use — depending on the application:

Coarse-grained sugars, such as sanding sugar (also called ``pearl sugar``, ``decorating sugar``, nibbed sugar or sugar nibs) adds ``sparkle`` and flavor for decorating to baked goods, candies, cookies/biscuits and other desserts. The sparkling effect occurs because the sugar forms large crystals which reflect light. Sanding sugar, a large-crystal sugar, serves for making edible decorations. It has larger granules that sparkle when sprinkled on baked goods and candies and will not dissolve when subjected to heat. Normal granulated sugars for table use: typically they have a grain size about 0.5 mm across Finer grades result from selectively sieving the granulated sugar caster (or castor[24]) (0.35 mm), commonly used in baking, originally sprinkled from a castor. Castor or caster sugar is the name of a very fine sugar in Britain, so named because the grains are small enough to fit though a sugar ``caster`` or sprinkler. It is sold as ``superfine`` sugar in the United States.

Because of its fineness, it dissolves more quickly than regular white sugar, and so is especially useful in meringues and cold liquids. It is not as fine as confectioner’s sugar, which has been crushed mechanically (and generally mixed with a little starch to keep it from clumping).

If you don’t have any castor sugar on hand, you can make your own by grinding granulated sugar for a couple of minutes in a food processor (this also produces sugar dust, so let it settle for a few moments before opening the food processor). You can also purchase castor sugar online.

superfine sugar, also called baker's sugar, berry sugar, or bar sugar — favored for sweetening drinks or for preparing meringue Finest grades Powdered sugar, 10X sugar, confectioner's sugar (0.060 mm), or icing sugar (0.024 mm), produced by grinding sugar to a fine powder. The manufacturer may add a small amount of anticaking agent to prevent clumping — either cornstarch (1% to 3%) or tri-calcium phosphate. Sugar cubes close-up.

Retailers also sell sugar cubes or lumps for convenient consumption of a standardized amount. Suppliers of sugarcubes make them by mixing sugar crystals with sugar syrup. Jakub Kryštof Rad invented sugarcubes in 1841 in the Austrian Empire (what is now the Czech Republic).

Brown sugar crystals.

Brown sugars come from the late stages of sugar refining, when sugar forms fine crystals with significant molasses content, or from coating white refined sugar with a cane molasses syrup. Their color and taste become stronger with increasing molasses content, as do their moisture-retaining properties. Brown sugars also tend to harden if exposed to the atmosphere, although proper handling can reverse this.

Dissolved sugar content

Scientists and the sugar industry use degrees Brix (symbol °Bx), introduced by Antoine Brix, as units of measurement of the mass ratio of dissolved substance to water in a liquid. A 25 °Bx sucrose solution has 25 grams of sucrose per 100 grams of liquid; or, to put it another way, 25 grams of sucrose sugar and 75 grams of water exist in the 100 grams of solution.

The Brix degrees are measured using an infrared sensor. This measurement does not equate to Brix degrees from a density or refractive index measurement, because it will specifically measure dissolved sugar concentration instead of all dissolved solids. When using a refractometer, one should report the result as ``refractometric dried substance`` (RDS). One might speak of a liquid as having 20 °Bx RDS. This refers to a measure of percent by weight of total dried solids and, although not technically the same as Brix degrees determined through an infrared method, renders an accurate measurement of sucrose content, since sucrose in fact forms the majority of dried solids. The advent of in-line infrared Brix measurement sensors has made measuring the amount of dissolved sugar in products economical using a direct measurement.

Baking weight/mass volume relationship

Different culinary sugars have different densities due to variation in particle size and inclusion of moisture.

The Domino Sugar Company has established the following volume to weight conversions:

Brown sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 195 g = 6.88 oz Granular sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 200 g = 7.06 oz Powdered sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 120 g = 4.23 oz

History of sugar (sucrose) production

A sugarloaf was a traditional form for sugar in the 17th to 19th centuries, which required a sugar nip to break off pieces. Main article: History of sugar

Originally, people chewed the cane raw to extract its sweetness. Indians discovered how to crystallize sugar during the Gupta dynasty, around AD 350.[25]

Sugarcane was originally from tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations with S. barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea.[26]

During the Muslim Agricultural Revolution, Arab entrepreneurs adopted the techniques of sugar production from India and then refined and transformed them into a large-scale industry. Arabs set up the first large scale sugar mills, refineries, factories and plantations.

The 1390s saw the development of a better press, which doubled the juice obtained from the cane. This permitted economic expansion of sugar plantations to Andalucia and to the Algarve. The 1420s saw sugar production extended to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores.

The Portuguese took sugar to Brazil. Hans Staden, published in 1555, writes that by 1540 Santa Catarina Island had 800 sugar mills and that the north coast of Brazil, Demarara and Suriname had another 2,000. Approximately 3,000 small mills built before 1550 in the New World created an unprecedented demand for cast iron gears, levers, axles and other implements. Specialist trades in mold-making and iron-casting developed in Europe due to the expansion of sugar production. Sugar mill construction developed technological skills needed for a nascent industrial revolution in the early 17th century.[citation needed]

After 1625 the Dutch carried sugarcane from South America to the Caribbean islands — where it became grown from Barbados to the Virgin Islands.[citation needed] With the European colonization of the Americas, the Caribbean became the world's largest source of sugar. These islands could supply sugarcane using slave labor and produce sugar at prices vastly lower than those of cane sugar imported from the East.

During the eighteenth century, sugar became enormously popular and the sugar market went through a series of booms. As Europeans established sugar plantations on the larger Caribbean islands, prices fell, especially in Britain. By the eighteenth century all levels of society had become common consumers of the former luxury product. At first most sugar in Britain went into tea, but later confectionery and chocolates became extremely popular. Suppliers commonly sold sugar in solid cones and consumers required a sugar nip, a pliers-like tool, to break off pieces.

Beginning in the late 18th century, the production of sugar became increasingly mechanized. The steam engine first powered a sugar mill in Jamaica in 1768, and soon after, steam replaced direct firing as the source of process heat. During the same century, Europeans began experimenting with sugar production from other crops. Andreas Marggraf identified sucrose in beet root and his student Franz Achard built a sugar beet processing factory in Silesia. However the beet-sugar industry really took off during the Napoleonic Wars, when France and the continent were cut off from caribbean sugar. Today 30% of the world's sugar is produced from beets.

Today, a large beet refinery producing around 1,500 tonnes of sugar a day needs a permanent workforce of about 150 for 24-hour production.

Trade and economics

Historically one of the most widely-traded commodities in the world, sugar accounts for around 2% of the global dry cargo market.[citation needed] International sugar prices show great volatility, ranging from around 3 to over 60 cents per pound in the past[update] 50 years. Of the world's 180-odd countries, around 100 produce sugar from beet or cane, a few more refine raw sugar to produce white sugar, and all countries consume sugar. Consumption of sugar ranges from around 3 kilograms per person per annum in Ethiopia to around 40 kg/person/yr in Belgium.[citation needed] Consumption per capita rises with income per capita until it reaches a plateau of around 35 kg per person per year in middle income countries.

World raw sugar price for the calendar years 1960 to 2006.

Many countries subsidize sugar production heavily. The European Union, the United States, Japan and many developing countries subsidize domestic production and maintain high tariffs on imports. Sugar prices in these countries have often exceeded prices on the international market by up to three times; today[update], with world market sugar futures prices currently[update] strong, such prices typically exceed world prices by two times.

Within international trade bodies, especially in the World Trade Organization, the ``G20`` countries led by Brazil have long argued that because these sugar markets essentially exclude cane sugar imports, the G20 sugar producers receive lower prices than they would under free trade. While both the European Union and United States maintain trade agreements whereby certain developing and less developed country (LDCs) can sell certain quantities of sugar into their markets, free of the usual import tariffs, countries outside these preferred trade régimes have complained that these arrangements violate the ``most favoured nation`` principle of international trade. This has led to numerous tariffs and levies in the past.[27]

In 2004, the WTO sided with a group of cane sugar exporting nations (led by Brazil and Australia) and ruled the EU sugar-régime and the accompanying ACP-EU Sugar Protocol (whereby a group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries receive preferential access to the European sugar market) illegal.[28] In response to this and to other rulings of the WTO, and owing to internal pressures on the EU sugar-régime, the European Commission proposed on 22 June 2005 a radical reform of the EU sugar-régime, cutting prices by 39% and eliminating all EU sugar exports.[29] The African, Caribbean, Pacific and least developed country sugar exporters reacted with dismay to the EU sugar proposals,[30]. On 25 November 2005 the Council of the EU agreed to cut EU sugar prices by 36% as from 2009. In 2007 it seemed[31] that the U.S. Sugar Program could become the next target for reform. However, some commentators expected heavy lobbying from the U.S. sugar industry, which donated $2.7 million to US House and US Senate incumbents in the 2006 US election, more than any other group of US food-growers.[32] Especially prominent lobbyists include The Fanjul Brothers, so-called ``sugar barons`` who made the single largest[update] individual contributions of soft money to both the Democratic and Republican parties in the political system of the United States of America.[33][34]

Small quantities of sugar, especially specialty grades of sugar, reach the market as 'fair trade' commodities; the fair trade system produces and sells these products with the understanding that a larger-than-usual fraction of the revenue will support small farmers in the developing world. However, whilst the Fairtrade Foundation offers a premium of USD 60.00 per tonne to small farmers for sugar branded as ``Fairtrade``,[35] government schemes such the U.S. Sugar Program and the ACP Sugar Protocol[36] offer premiums of around USD 400.00 per tonne above world market prices. However, the EU announced on 14 September 2007 that it had offered ``to eliminate all duties and quotas on the import of sugar into the EU``.[37]

The Sugar Association has launched a campaign to promote sugar over artificial substitutes. The Association now[update] aggressively challenges many common beliefs regarding negative side effects of sugar consumption. The campaign aired a high-profile television commercial during the 2007 Prime Time Emmy Awards on FOX Television. The Sugar Association uses the trademark tagline ``Sugar: sweet by nature.``[38]


^ Sucrose, International Chemical Safety Card 1507, Geneva: International Labour Organization, November 2003, . ^ Hubert Schiweck, Margaret Clarke, Günter Pollach Sugar” in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2007, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a25_345.pub2 ^ C. A. Beevers, T. R. R. McDonald, J. H. Robertson and F. Stern (1952), ``The crystal structure of sucrose``, Acta Cryst 5: 689–690, doi:10.1107/S0365110X52001908  ^ ^ Sucrase, Encylopedia Brittanica Online ^ Lemieux, R. U.; Huber, G. (1953), ``A chemical synthesis of sucrose``, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 75 (16): 4118, doi:10.1021/ja01112a545 . ^ Ten, Svetlana; Maclaren, Noel (2004), ``Insulin resistance syndrome in children``, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 89 (6): 2526–39, doi:10.1210/jc.2004-0276, PMID 15181020 . ^ Alexander Aguilera, Alfonso; Hernández Díaz, Guillermo; Lara Barcelata, Martín; Angulo Guerrero, Ofelia; Oliart Ros, Rosa M. (2004), ``Effects of fish oil on hypertension, plasma lipids, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in rats with sucrose-induced metabolic syndrome``, J. Nutr. Biochem. 15 (6): 350–57, doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2003.12.008, PMID 15157941 . ^ Fukuchi, Satoshi; Hamaguchi, Kazuyuki; Seike, Masataka; Himeno, Katsuro; Sakata, Toshiie; Yoshimatsu, Hironobu (2004), ``Role of Fatty Acid Composition in the Development of Metabolic Disorders in Sucrose-Induced Obese Rats``, Exp. Biol. Med. 229 (6): 486–93, PMID 15169967, . ^ Lombardo, Y. B.; Drago, S.; Chicco, A.; Fainstein-Day, P.; Gutman, R.; Gagliardino, J. J.; Gomez Dumm, C. L. (1996), ``Long-term administration of a sucrose-rich diet to normal rats: relationship between metabolic and hormonal profiles and morphological changes in the endocrine pancreas``, Metabolism 45 (12): 1527–32, doi:10.1016/S0026-0495(96)90183-3, PMID 8969287 . ^ Tooth Decay ^ What causes tooth decay? ^ Baschetti, M. D. R. Evolutionary legacy: form of ingestion, not quantity, is the key factor in producing the effects of sugar on human health. Med. Hypotheses 2004, 63, 933-938. >] ^ What I need to know about Eating and Diabetes ^ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey ^ retrieved 2008-02-06 ^ ^ Pär Stattin, Ove Björ, Pietro Ferrari, Annekatrin Lukanova, Per Lenner, Bernt Lindahl, Göran Hallmans, and Rudolf Kaaks (2007), ``Prospective Study of Hyperglycemia and Cancer Risk``, Diabetes Care 30 (3): 561–567, doi:10.2337/dc06-0922, PMID 17327321,  ^ See table 6, page 56 of the WHO Technical Report Series 916, Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases: online at ^ The Great Sugar Debate: Is it Vegan? ^ a b Yacoubou, MS, Jeanne (2007), ``Is Your Sugar Vegan? An Update on Sugar Processing Practices`` (PDF), Vegetarian Journal (Baltimore, MD: The Vegetarian Resource Group) 26 (4): 16–20,, retrieved 2007-04-04  ^ a b Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ^ Miraski, Benjamin (2008-06-05), Sugar's money, influence continue to plague domestic candy companies, Medill Reports, . ^ The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) classifies both spellings as correct, but ``castor`` used to prevail. ^ Adas, Michael (January 2001). Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History. Temple University Press. ISBN 1566398320. Page 311. ^ Sharpe, Peter (1998). Sugar Cane: Past and Present. Illinois: Southern Illinois University. ^ ^ ^ Agriculture - Sugar ^ ACP Group of States - The Fiji Communiqué on Sugar ^ International Sugar Trade Coalition ^ New York Times, October 18, 2007, ^ New York Times, November 11, 2003, ^ ^ FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International) ^ European Commission - External Trade - Trade Issues ^ European Commission - External Trade - Trade Issues ^ Sugar Association

Further reading

Yudkin, J.; Edelman, J.; Hough, L. (1973), Sugar – Chemical, Biological and Nutritional Aspects of Sucrose, Butterworth, ISBN 0-408-70172-2 .

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sucrose Computational Chemistry Wiki Nomenclature of Carbohydrates 3d Images of Sucrose James Yawn's Website on Rocket Candy Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Professor Dr. Robert H. Lustig, University of California, links fructose (half of the sucrose disaccharide) to the obesity epidemic Sugar Industry Encyclopedia v â€¢ d â€¢ e Types of Carbohydrates General: Aldose Â· Ketose Â· Pyranose Â· Furanose Geometry Cyclohexane conformation Â· Anomer Â· Mutarotation Monosaccharides Trioses Ketotriose (Dihydroxyacetone) Â· Aldotriose (Glyceraldehyde) Tetroses Ketotetrose (Erythrulose) Â· Aldotetroses (Erythrose, Threose) Pentoses

Ketopentose (Ribulose, Xylulose)

Aldopentose (Ribose, Arabinose, Xylose, Lyxose)

Deoxy sugar (Deoxyribose) Hexoses

Ketohexose (Psicose, Fructose, Sorbose, Tagatose)

Aldohexose (Allose, Altrose, Glucose, Mannose, Gulose, Idose, Galactose, Talose)

Deoxy sugar (Fucose, Fuculose, Rhamnose) >6 Heptose (Sedoheptulose) Â· Octose Â· Nonose (Neuraminic acid) Multiple Disaccharides Sucrose Â· Lactose Â· Maltose Â· Trehalose Â· Turanose Â· Cellobiose Trisaccharides Raffinose Â· Melezitose Â· Maltotriose Tetrasaccharides Acarbose Â· Stachyose Other oligosaccharides Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) Â· Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) Â· Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) Polysaccharides

Glucose/Glucan: Glycogen Â· Starch (Amylose, Amylopectin) Â· Cellulose Â· Dextrin/Dextran Â· Beta-glucan (Zymosan, Lentinan, Sizofiran) Â· Maltodextrin

Fructose/Fructan: Inulin Â· Levan beta 2→6



N-Acetylglucosamine: Chitin Major families of biochemicals Saccharides/Carbohydrates/Glycosides Â· Amino acids/Peptides/Proteins/Glycoproteins Â· Lipids/Terpenes/Steroids/Carotenoids Â· Alkaloids/Nucleobases/Nucleic acids Â· Cofactors/Phenylpropanoids/Polyketides/Tetrapyrroles