Sugar Production

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

The sucrose molecule is a disaccharide consisting of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. See fructose and glucose. In general it is crystalline in form, though when a controlled amount of acid is added, sugar will partially break down into its constituent parts, resulting in a syrup, or “invert sugar.” Sucrose can be extracted from many plants, including certain varieties of palms, maple trees, and sorghum, but the overwhelming majority (about 75 percent in 2003) of the world’s sugar comes from sugarcane, with sugar beets making up almost all the remainder. See sorghum syrup; sugar beet; and sugarcane.