Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugars refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols, while in its singular form, sugar normally refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined (or free sugar) form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.
Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It was not plentiful or cheap in early times honey was more often used for sweetening in most parts of the world.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||1,619 kJ (387 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0 g|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.019 mg (2%)|
|Calcium||1 mg (0%)|
|Iron||0.01 mg (0%)|
|Potassium||2 mg (0%)|
Types of Sugar
Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar.
Brown sugar contains from 3.5% molasses (light brown sugar) to 6.5% molasses (dark brown sugar). The product is naturally moist from the hygroscopic nature of the molasses and is often labeled as "soft." The product may undergo processing to give a product that flows better for industrial handling. The addition of dyes and/or other chemicals may be permitted in some areas or for industrial products.
Particle size is variable but generally less than granulated white sugar. Products for industrial use (e.g., the industrial production of cakes) may be based on caster sugar which has crystals of approximately 0.35 mm.
There are many different types of granulated sugar. Most of these are used only by food processors and professional bakers and are not available in the supermarket. The types of granulated sugars differ in crystal size. Each crystal size provides unique functional characteristics that make the sugar appropriate for the food processor's special need.
"Regular" Sugar, Extra Fine or Fine Sugar
"Regular" sugar, as it is known to consumers, is the sugar found in every home's sugar bowl and most commonly used in home food preparation. It is the white sugar called for in most cookbook recipes. The food processing industry describes "regular" sugar as extra fine or fine sugar. It is the sugar most used by food processors because of its fine crystals that are ideal for bulk handling and are not susceptible to caking.
Fruit sugar is slightly finer than "regular" sugar and is used in dry mixes such as gelatin desserts, pudding mixes and drink mixes. Fruit sugar has a more uniform crystal size than "regular" sugar. The uniformity of crystal size prevents separation or settling of smaller crystals to the bottom of the box, an important quality in dry mixes and drink mixes.
Bakers Specials crystal size is even finer than that of fruit sugar. As its name suggests, it was developed specially for the baking industry. Bakers Special is used for sugaring doughnuts and cookies as well as in some commercial cakes to produce fine crumb texture.
Superfine, Ultrafine, or Bar Sugar
This sugar's crystal size is the finest of all the types of granulated sugar. It is ideal for extra fine textured cakes and meringues, as well as for sweetening fruits and iced-drinks since it dissolves easily. In England, a sugar very similar to superfine sugar is known as caster or castor, named after the type of shaker in which it is often packaged
Confectioners ( Powdered ) Sugar
This sugar is granulated sugar ground to a smooth powder and then sifted. It contains about 3% corn starch to prevent caking. Confectioners sugar is available in three grades ground to different degrees of fineness. The confectioners sugar available in supermarkets is the finest of the three and is used in icings, confections and whipping cream. The other two types of powdered sugar are used by industrial bakers.
The crystal size of coarse sugar is larger than that of "regular" sugar. Coarse sugar is normally processed from the purest sugar liquor. This processing method makes coarse sugar highly resistant to color change or Inversion (natural breakdown to fructose and glucose) at high temperatures. These characteristics are important in making fondants, confections and liquors
Another large crystal sugar, sanding sugar, is used mainly in the baking and confectionery industries to sprinkle on top of baked goods. The large crystals reflect light and give the product a sparkling appearance.
Sugar produced in India is mainly of granulated type. Granulated sugar is further classified in to various types based on color and grain size. According to the Indian Standards Specifications (ISI), there are around 20 grades of sugar based on the grain size and colors. The color series has four grades designated as 30,29,28 and 27, while the grain size has five grades namely A, B, C, D, E. Bulk of production in the country is of C, D and E grains, branded as large, medium and small and has color specification of 30. The D grade produced in the country is comparable to world standards