Sugar

Summary – Interesting information

Sugar, as we know it today, comes from two plants, namely sugar cane and sugar beet . However, other plants such as maple, sorghum, American agave , date palm and palm sugar are also used to obtain sugar in large quantities, mainly in syrups. If a ton of sugarcane can produce around 125 kilograms of sugar, an 800 gram beet can produce 15 to 20% sucrose.

For several centuries, only honey could be used as a sweetener in Europe. Although sugar cane cultivation was already practiced in India 2500 years ago, planting was reserved for medical purposes only and has remained until modern times. After the development of widely refined cultivation techniques by the Arabs, sugar cane gradually appeared in Europe. Spain and Venice were the most important sugar trading centers during the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries.

Beet sugar is naturally white, while sugar from cane has different colors ranging from light brown to brown, due to the pigments contained in the cane. For sugar to become white, it must undergo a refining process to reform the brown sugar and remove its dyes.

Sugar consumption in the world was estimated at 170 million tons in 2010, while production was 166 million tons for the year, forcing producing countries to intensify their reserves to meet demand. The sugar currently sold on the market comes 75% from sugar cane and 25% from beet.

main nutrients

Nutrients (effects and potential medical indications)Amount per 100 g of sugar
Carbohydrates (source of energy for the body)99,6 g
Sodium (favors the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain)2,17 mg
Potassium (contributes to the proper functioning of the kidneys)13,4 mg
Calcium (encourages bone development and the proper functioning of the nervous system)3,68 mg
Other nutrients: vitamin B2 , manganese , magnesium , iron , copper , iodine and selenium

number of calories

100 grams of refined sugar provides about 398 kcal.

Main dishes, foods and drinks made with sugar

– Sugar, which comes from sugar cane or beet, is increasingly present on tables and has made gourmets happy. Differences between the manufacturing process and refinement of each production can cause variation in the color, taste, and size of the crystals.

– Refined white sugar is used in everyday life, whether in the form of cubes, in bulk or in specific packages. It is mainly used to flavor dairy products, hot drinks and desserts.

– The brown sugar is removed immediately after separating the molasses juice from the sugar cane. The understated rum taste and brown color are perfect for adding a delicious flavor to waffles and pancake batters. It also helps to caramelise gratins made with sugar and cream. It still gives a special flavor to cakes, pies and brioches. Likewise, cooks use it to prepare both sweet and savory dishes.

– Sugar has crystals, the size of which does not exceed 0.15 millimeters. It is ideal for egg whites and for pie and cake sprinkles.

– For lovers of punch and mulled wine, brown sugar is used for flavor. It is also used to make fruit syrups, liqueurs and fruit preserves.

– Finally, liquid sugar is found especially in ice cream, syrups, jellies, sweets, drinks and chocolate fondant such as fudge.

– Sugar also acts as a preservative in jellies, compotes, marmalades, frozen, preserved and crystallized fruits.

Nutritional and health importance

– The carbohydrate content in sugar comes from glucose after digestion. This is the fuel that provides the energy necessary for the proper functioning of cells, including those in the brain, heart, muscles and red blood cells in general. It is the brain that is the biggest consumer of carbohydrates, because it uses them to function, along with oxygen. Glucose reserves do not exceed 10 minutes. Scientists estimate that an adult brain needs about 140 grams of glucose, or half the carbohydrates consumed by an individual daily. And this need increases with the intense practice of mental activity.

– For athletes, sugar plays an important role in the diet. Soccer players are used to eating foods that contain slow-release carbohydrates a few hours before a match. This includes potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. They must make up at least 60% of your supply base. During exercise, it is important to drink 150-200 ml of sweetened drink every 15 minutes. During the break, it is recommended to have a snack that provides at least 25 grams of carbohydrates for the body.

Simple recipe to prepare

Tiramisu of two flavors

Ingredients:

For 4 people:

– 10 champagne or cornstarch cookies.

– 200 grams of dark chocolate.

– 250 grams of mascarpone.

– 4 eggs.

– Cocoa powder.

– 70 grams of brown sugar.

– 200 grams of raspberries.

– Chantilly.

Preparation:

– Separate the whites from the yolks before beating them to a stiff peak. Add a pinch of salt.

– Beat the yolks with a whisk with the sugar until white and creamy. Then mix in the mascarpone until well incorporated.

– Melt chocolate in double boiler. Bring the beaten egg whites, melted chocolate, mascarpone and egg yolks to a bowl. Take the biscuits one at a time and dip into the quick preparation and stop them from melting in the heat.

– Take a bowl to put the cookies. Then cover with a layer of the cream you prepared earlier. Place another layer of biscuits with cream and raspberries finishing with whipped cream and a little cocoa powder.

– Let it rest in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

Suggestion: For those who like a little alcohol, it is possible to add a tablespoon of flavored rum that goes perfectly with chocolate and raspberry.

Good nutrition advice from Create health

– In a balanced diet, sugar intake should not exceed 50 g per day, taking into account a daily caloric intake in the range of 1800 and 2600 calories. In industrialized countries such as France, this intake is around 100 grams per day. This is explained by the fact that the direct consumption of sugar actually represents 20% of daily consumption, the rest comes from sugary drinks, baked goods and cookies, among others.

– It is possible to replace sugar with honey and other sweeteners to reduce the negative impact of sugar on health, particularly in cases of diabetes , obesity and tooth decay.

– To prevent the brown sugar from crystallizing, put it in the fridge, in a jar.

If you have prepared a cake decorated with sugarpaste, it is important not to put it in the fridge, as the humidity in the air will make the pastry sticky. You should choose a dark, uncrowded room that is air conditioned or at room temperature.

Interesting comments about this food

Sugarcane is grown mainly in Brazil, India, China, Cuba and Mexico, and sugar beets come mainly from France, Russia, the United States, Germany, China and Poland.
During the Middle Ages, sugar was an exotic and luxury food for Europeans, serving as a medicine. Prior to this, honey was the only known product in the West that provided sweetness. The landing of Christopher Columbus in America resulted in, among others, the arrival of large plantations on American soil and on the Caribbean islands.
People on a diet to lose weight should consume sugar in moderation, be it brown or refined. In fact, it is naturally manufactured by the body from fat reserves and the consumption of vegetables, fruits and cereals that provide glucose daily for the body.

Read: What is the amount of added sugar that should not be exceeded per day?

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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