Did you know where table sugar comes from and how is it made?

«The bad image of sugar life is mainly due to the disinformation«. Carmen Gómez Candela, head of section of the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Unit of the La Paz University Hospital, is shown that way. In the opinion of this specialist, sucrose, by itself, does not make you fatter than any other food.

So what makes us obese is the fact that there is no relationship between the food we eat and exercise what we do. In this sense, he defends, «sugar is not an enemy and can even be an ally of a healthy lifestyle that mixes a consistent diet and physical activity.» Therefore, we should not banish it suddenly from our lives since it not only sweetens us a bit, but also gives us that dose of energy necessary to face our day to day. Of course, it must be consumed in moderation.

The origin of sugar

But do we know about where the sugar comes from and how is the procedure to get it until it reaches our pantry?

The first news we have of this ingredient takes us 5,000 years ago, when in African countries it was extracted from sugar cane. Later, thanks to the Arabs, the sugar reached Spain. A sugar that is obtained from two plants: cane and beet root. In the case of our country, the latter is the majority crop due to the weather conditions we have. While the cane plant occurs more frequently in tropical lands and temperatures.

Sugar beet (bigstock)

How is the production process?

Until it reaches our table to sweeten our morning coffee, the sugar goes through a series of previous steps. In this case we tell you how is the manufacturing process based on beets: .

  • Harvest: beets are grown between autumn and early winter. Since they are obtained directly from the ground, they must be cleaned and all dirt removed.
  • Extraction: at first what is done is to cut the plant in fine pieces – called cossettes – increasing the sugar extraction area. The extraction is carried out through a diffuser that converts the water that is obtained into a sugary solution.
  • Pulp pressing: lhe beet pulp extracted from these diffusers contains a large amount of water which is considerably reduced after pressing. Thus, the resulting water is introduced again in that diffusion to recover the sugar and obtain a juice or juice.
  • Carbonation: This process is the result of adding milk of lime to the liquor and bubbling carbon dioxide through the mixture. Once filtered, the sugar liquor is ready for discoloration.
  • Finally, the syrup that is obtained is boiled until the sugar crystals. The mixture of crystals and liquor is centrifuged to separate them. Afterwards, hot air is applied to the crystals to be dried and stored.