How We Get Sugar
After washing, sugar beets are sliced and soaked in hot water to begin the process that separates sugar from the rest of the plant. The hot sugary liquid is filtered, concentrated to a deep brown syrup, whose color is due to its high molasses content. The molasses – rich syrup is allowed to cool slightly before it is whirled in a centrifuge – a large perforated basket spinning very rapidly much like a washing machine in the spin cycle – where most of the molasses is spun away. At the end, hot water is sprayed over the light brown crystals to remove the remaining molasses, leaving pure naturally white sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are then dried. It is important to note that beet sugar is neither chemically altered nor bleached to achieve its naturally white color.
Cane stalks are shredded and squeezed to extract it natural juice, which is boiled until it thickens and molasses-rich sugar crystals begin to settle. The molasses-rich crystals are sent to a rapidly spinning centrifuge to remove molasses and leave pure naturally white sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are then dried. It is important to note that cane sugar is neither chemically altered nor bleached to achieve its naturally white color.
Sugar is a carbohydrate. The body’s primary source of energy is from carbohydrates. All vital organs – brain, heart, liver – need carbohydrates to meet their energy demands. Carbohydrates, including sugar, also play key roles in muscle function, growth and regulation of body temperature.
Official Statement on Biotechnology Enhanced Crops
Conventional methods of plant breeding for characteristic selection and enhancement have been used for centuries. Benefits such as increased yields, drought, disease and pest-resistance are of incalculable value in food production.
Modern plant breeding methods include biotechnology. Many agricultural crops in the United States, including corn, soybeans, cotton and canola, are produced primarily from biotech plants.
Sugar beet growers in the U.S. and Canada now have the opportunity to use biotech enhanced varieties for weed control. This technology substantially reduces the need for chemical applications and cultivation. This is a plus for the environment as it reduces consumption of fossil fuels.
In the production of refined sugar, naturally occurring sucrose is extracted from sugar beets or sugar cane. Molecularly, sugar produced from biotech plants is the same as sugar produced from conventionally bred plants.
Other Sugar Resources
- Calories in Sugar
- Sugar and Your Diet
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Types of Sugar
- Other Caloric Sweeteners
- The Other 26 Sweeteners
- Why Sugar is in Food
- Sugar in Bakery Foods
- Sugar in Jellies and Preserves
- Sugar in Canning and Freezing
- Sugar in Non-sweet Foods