Sugar is an informal term for class of edible crystalline substances, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose. They have characteristically a sweet flavor. In food, sugar almost exclusively refers to sucrose, which primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. Excessive consumption of sucrose has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. Sugar consumption varies by country depending on the cultural traditions. Brazil has the highest per capita production and India has the highest per-country consumption.//
The term sugar usually refers to sucrose, which is also called ``table sugar`` or ``saccharose.`` Sucrose is a white crystalline disaccharide. Sucrose is the most popular of the various sugars for flavoring, as well as properties (such as mouthfeel, preservation, and texture) of beverages and food. Manufacturing and preparing food may involve other sugars, such as fructose, generally obtained from corn (maize) or from fruit.
In culinary terms, the foodstuff known as ``sugar`` delivers a primary taste sensation of sweetness. Apart from the many forms of sugar and of sugar-containing foodstuffs, alternative non-sugar-based sweeteners exist, and these particularly attract interest from people who have problems with their blood sugar level (such as diabetics) and people who wish to limit their calorie-intake while still enjoying sweet foods. Both natural and synthetic substitutes exist with no significant carbohydrate (and thus low-calorie) content: for instance stevia (a herb), and saccharin (produced from naturally occurring but not necessarily naturally edible substances by inducing appropriate chemical reactions).
The World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expert report (WHO Technical Report Series 916 Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases) defines free sugars as all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. This includes all the sugars referred to above. The term distinguishes these forms from all other culinary sugars added in their natural form with no refining at all.
Different culinary sugars have different densities due to differences 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
Bulk DensityDextrose Sugar 0.62 g/ml Granulated Sugar 0.70 g/ml Powdered Sugar 0.56 g/ml Beet Sugar 0.80 g/ml
Scientifically, sugar loosely refers to monosaccharide or disaccharides. Monosaccharides are also called ``simple sugars,`` the most important being glucose. Almost all sugars have the formula CnH2nOn (n is between 3 and 7). Glucose has the molecular formula C6 H12O6. The names of typical sugars end with ``-ose,`` as in ``glucose``, ``dextrose``, ``fructose.``. Sometimes such words may also refer to any types of carbohydrates soluble in water. The mono- and disaccharides contain either aldehyde groups (-CHO) or ketone groups (C=O). These carbon-oxygen double bonds are the reactive centers. All saccharides with more than one ring in their structure result from two or more monosaccharides joined by glycosidic bonds with the resultant loss of a molecule of water (H2O) per bond.
Monosaccharides in a closed-chain form can form glycosidic bonds with other monosaccharides, creating disaccharides (such as sucrose) and polysaccharides (such as starch). Enzymes must hydrolyse or otherwise break these glycosidic bonds before such compounds become metabolised. After digestion and absorption. the principal monosaccharides present in the blood and internal tissues include glucose, fructose, and galactose.Many pentoses and hexoses can form ring structures. In these closed-chain forms, the aldehyde or ketone group remains unfree, so many of the reactions typical of these groups cannot occur. Glucose in solution exists mostly in the ring form at equilibrium, with less than 0.1% of the molecules in the open-chain form.
Biopolymers of sugars are common in nature. Through photosynthesis plants produce glucose, which has the formula C6H12O6, and convert it for storage as an energy reserve in the form of other carbohydrates such as starch, or (as in cane and beet) as sucrose (table sugar). Sucrose has the chemical formula C12H22O11. Starch, consisting of a two different polymers of glucose, is a readily degradable chemical energy stored by cells, convert to other types of energy.
Cellulose is a polymer of glucose used by plants as structural component.
DNA and RNA are built up of the sugars ribose and deoxyribose.Sucrose: a disaccharide of glucose (left) and fructose (right), important molecules in the body.
The sugar in DNA, deoxyribose has the formula C5H10O4.ant feeding on sugar crystals
The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. The English word ``sugar`` originates from the Arabic and Persian word shakar, itself derived from Sanskrit Sharkara. It came to English by way of French, Spanish and/or Italian, which derived their word for sugar from the Arabic and Persian shakar (whence the Portuguese word aÃ§Ãºcar, the Spanish word azÃºcar, the Italian word zucchero, the Old French word zuchre and the contemporary French word sucre). (Compare the OED.) The Greek word for ``sugar``, zahari, means ``pebble``. Note that the English word jaggery (meaning ``coarse brown Indian sugar``) has similar ultimate etymological origins (presumably in Sanskrit).