Sugar, Unusual Uses of

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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sugar, unusual uses of, include applications ranging from medieval art to warfare to Hollywood special effects and 3-D printing. One of the more creative uses is to preserve waterlogged ancient timbers, and even leather, by soaking them in a 67 percent sugar solution. This preservation method, in which the high concentration of sugar effectively ties up the water so that it is unavailable to microorganisms, has been used in Eastern Europe for many years, and it was recently used in the United Kingdom to preserve the remains of three medieval bridges found near Leicester.