Topics: Sugar, Blood sugar, Nutrition Pages: 6 (2315 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Ironically, sugar cane is not a native plant to most Americans. It is a perennial grass whose tropical species seems to have originated in New Guinea and India. During the invasion of India in 326 B.C., Alexander the Great’s soldiers became the first Europeans to see sugar cane; honey was the primary sweetener of the Western world at that time (Aronson and Budhos 11). Sugar offered a stronger sweet flavor. From New Guinea, knowledge of the sweet plant spread slowly to Asian mainland. It was in India that we had the first written record of sugar, where it was used for offering in religious and magical ceremonies (Aronson and Budhos 4). The history of sugar is one that is bittersweet filled with brutality, slavery and indentured labors. Sugar is a taste we all want, a taste we all crave. People throughout the world are willing to do anything and everything to get a touch that sweetness. Sugar cane plantations were run through the uses of slaves and indentured laborers. Indentured laborers were Indian labor workers who set sail to the Caribbean and agreed to a five year contract during which they were to be paid a daily wage and were given a promise of return passage back to India. Most lost their rights to see their family. The novel design to continue cheap labor workers was called “indenture.” Indentured labors were a new way to find people to work in sugar fields for less to nothing (Aronson and Budhos 102). Today though there is no need for slaves and indentured labors to work on plantation. The process of making ready-to-eat sugar is complex. To refine sugar, it takes hours of intense labor. During harvest season the cutters work brutal, seemingly endless shifts. Cane is taken to the factories where it is processed and crushed by hand. A stream of pale ash-colored syrup gushes out from the sugar mills, bubbling white with foam. The liquid syrup is captured and lugged off the boiler house. Over and over it is boiled under intense heat; the liquid has to strain and be purified even as it is boiling. When the syrup is sufficiently thick and clean, it is taken off the fire to cool so that it forms sugar crystals- grains of sugar (Aronson and Budhos 41). This was the process before machinery became available to farmers. Much of the labor is now done through the use of machinery. India is the second largest producer of sugar in the world, producing roughly fourteen percent of the world’s sugar. In India sugar cane accounts for the key raw material needed to produce sugar. Sugar is extracted from two raw materials, beet root and sugar cane. Both beet root and sugar cane manufacture identical refined sugar. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra account for mass produce of sugar in India. The sugar industry is the second largest industry in India next to textile production. Production of sugar has always been in high demand; for the years 2005-’06, for example, there was only seventeen million tons of sugar produced however over nineteen million tons consumed. In light of this, India has a promising future in sugar production. Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) is formally known as the Deccan Sugar Institute and has been set up to serve the sugar industry in India and in Maharashtra state in particular. VSI is the leading industrial producer of sugar in Maharashtra. Every part of Maharashtra lives and breathes sugar. The key contributors of sugar in Maharashtra are cities like Almednagar, Pune, Solapur and Kolhapur that distributed, with an average high of 12-18 % for the crushing season of 2010 (huh?not sure? This statement doesn’t make sense) . The Sugar Industry has played a major role in integrating rural developments. In India more than 550 factories are now installed. More than 45 million sugarcane growers and their dependents are directly related to the Sugar Industry. Though India provides 14.7 percent of sugar to the world, its own consumption of sugar continues to rise at an annual rate of 3.5 percent...
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