How is sugar extracted?
Down the centuries, attempts have been made to extract sugar from various crops. Besides sugarcane and maple, the two best known alternatives to sugar beet, people have also tried to extract it from grapes, wheat, maize, potatoes, walnuts, cabbage, palms, carrots and liquorice. After numerous attempts, they finally realised that no crop can give such a high yield as sugar beet or cane.
How does sugar beet grow?
Sugar beet plants have green leaves and a large root. In summer, the leaves use the air, water and sunlight to make food, in other words, sugar. This sugar is stored as an energy reserve in the root. The roots are then harvested in autumn to make sugar.
What is the difference between cane and beet sugar?
Sugar can be obtained from both crops. Cane stores the sugar in the stem, while beet stores it in the root. The nutritional value of the two types of sugar is exactly the same. The only difference is the growth habit – temperate for the beet and hot-humid for the cane.
Is cane sugar healthier?
“I take cane sugar because it is healthier”. This type of comment is very common, but it is a false cliché. Firstly, for correctness, it should not be called cane sugar, but brown sugar.
Both white and brown sugar can be obtained from either beet or cane. But brown beet sugar is not made/sold as it has an unpleasant odour. Brown sugar contains small amounts of residues known as “molasses”. For the rest, the chemical structure and calories are identical to those of white sugar.
Can sugar be part of a healthy diet?
You often hear that sugar is “unhealthy” and not suitable for a healthy diet. But no food is harmful to the health, there are only bad dietary habits. So anything can be part of a healthy diet, including sugar and products containing sugar. The important thing is to know how to consume the right quantity, combining and varying the various types of food.