How Sugar Is Made?
Sugar is one of the oldest products, that man has been able to make from nature. Thousands of years ago, the people of India learnt to make sugar from sugarcane. The existence of such a thing was not to the people of Europe. The Arabs introduced it at the time of the crusades. Sugar was used as a medicine and was considered a rarity.
Today sugar is relatively cheap food. In the United States, on average, a man consumes about 45 kilograms of sugar in a year. By the word “Sugar”, we are capable of describing over 100 sweet-tasting substances. The composition of one and all is the same. It is composed of these elements – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The amount of carbon may vary, but there is always twice as much hydrogen as oxygen, which makes sugar a carbohydrate.
It is made by plants for their personal use and is stored away in the plant until it is needed to make seeds and fibre or material for growth. Sugar supplies to man heat, energy and helps to form fat.
Various kinds of sugar come from a wide number of sources. Milk sugar or lactose is used in babies and its source is milk. From fruits, we get “fructose”. Vegetables, grain, potatoes supply us glucose. The most common sucrose comes chiefly from beets and sugarcane.
Sugarcane is a member of the grass family. It grows in the warm, moist, humid, climate of the tropics and subtropics. It attains a height of even six metres. The cut stalks of cane sugar are taken to sugar factories. There, they are cut, cleaned, washed, and shredded into short lengths. The rough pulpy mass is then crushed between heavy rollers.
The pressed out liquid is dark greyish or greenish in colour. Since it contains impurities chemical is used to clean it. The clear juice is then run into vacuum pans and evaporated into a thick syrup. It is a mixture of molasses and sugar crystals. It is revolved in hollow cylinders to force out molasses, leaving inside, raw brown sugar. This brown sugar is pushed to a refinery where it is once again dissolved, treated with chemicals, filtered and finally crystallized. We obtain pure sugar perfectly white into granulated lump or powder form.