History of Sugar

Topics: Sugar, Sugarcane, Refining Pages: 4 (1430 words) Published: September 3, 2008
The Production and Consumption of Sugar

The production of sugar has shaped our world throughout the centuries. From its humble beginning, to its royal induction it has now made a household name as a necessity. It has changed our society into sugar addicts with a never ending urge for sweetness. Production of this craving has lead to an over abundant consumption. Consumption so great that is has defined humans through culture and history. The journey has marked the path of this once less then famous compound into a substance that is in everything our society consumes today. The history of sugar can be traced through the years as a milestone in many nations and as an economical splendor. It is a crop that changed the meaning of the word sweet.

Sugar, chemically speaking, is an organic compound called sucrose, which is made up of two simpler sugars. It is composed of twelve carbons, twenty-two hydrogens, and eleven oxygen atoms. They form two structural rings, a glucose and a fructose ring. Sugar can be extracted form many different sources. Throughout history sugar cane has been the most important. There are six different types of sugar cane. The one know best is the Saccharum offcinarum which is the main source of sucrose. The process of extraction is in a series of steps which involved a great deal in precision of changing temperatures. Changing the state of the juices helps isolate the sucrose from the rest. After the sugar cane has been chopped, grounded, pressed, and submerged in liquid the temperature raises so the water can evaporate. At this point the water boils away leaving the solution supersaturated. This means the liquid is holding an over abundant amount of sucrose, a solution can do this at very high temperature. The liquid is slowly cooled and as it does a crystallized substance forms. The crystal is the solid form of sugar and the syrup left behind is molasses and is very sweet. These two states of sugar make it useful in different way and...
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