This article is about the class of sweet-flavored substances used as food. For common table sugar, see Sucrose. For other uses, see Sugar (disambiguation).
"Lump sugar" and "White sugar" redirect here. For the South Korean film, see Lump Sugar. For the Joanne Shaw Taylor album, see White Sugar (album).

Closeup of raw (unrefined, unbleached) sugar

Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The table or granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide. (In the body, sucrose hydrolyses into fructose and glucose.) Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. Chemically-different substances may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Some are used as lower-calorie food substitutes for sugar described as artificial sweeteners.

Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are present in sufficient concentrations for efficient extraction only in sugarcane and sugar beet. Sugarcane refers to any of several species of giant grass in the genus Saccharum that have been cultivated in tropical climates in South Asia and Southeast Asia since ancient times. A great expansion in its production took place in the 18th century with the establishment of sugar plantations in the West Indies and Americas. This was the first time that sugar became available to the common people, who had previously had to rely on honey to sweeten foods. Sugar beet, a cultivated variety of Beta vulgaris, is grown as a root crop in cooler climates and became a major source of sugar in the 19th century when methods for extracting the sugar became available. Sugar production and trade have changed the course of human history in many ways, influencing the formation of colonies, the perpetuation of slavery, the transition to indentured labour, the migration of peoples, wars between sugar-trade–controlling nations in the 19th century, and the ethnic composition and political structure of the New World.

The world produced about 168 million tonnes of sugar in 2011. The average person consumes about 24 kilograms (53 lb) of sugar each year (33.1 kg in industrialised countries), equivalent to over 260 food calories per person, per day.

Since the latter part of the twentieth century, it has been questioned whether a diet high in sugars, especially refined sugars, is good for human health. Sugar has been linked to obesity, and suspected of, or fully implicated as a cause in the occurrence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, macular degeneration, and tooth decay. Numerous studies have been undertaken to try to clarify the position, but with varying results, mainly because of the difficulty of finding populations for use as controls that do not consume or are largely free of any sugar consumption.


Ant feeding on sugar crystals.

The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. The English word "sugar"[1] originates from the Sanskrit शर्करा śarkarā,[2] via Persian شکر shakkar. It most probably came to England by way of Italian merchants. The contemporary Italian word is zucchero, whereas the Spanish and Portuguese words, azúcar and açúcar respectively, have kept a trace of the Arabic definite article. The Old French word is zuchre – contemporary French sucre. The earliest Greek word attested is σάκχαρις (sákkʰaris).[3][4] A satisfactory pedigree explaining the spread of the word has yet to be done. The English word jaggery, a coarse brown sugar made from date palm sap or sugarcane juice, has a similar etymological origin; Portuguese xagara or jagara, from the Sanskrit śarkarā.[5]


Main article: History of sugar

Ancient times and Middle Ages

Sugar cane plantation

Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent[6] since ancient times. It was not plentiful or cheap in early times and honey was more often used for sweetening in most parts of the world. Originally, people chewed raw sugarcane to extract its sweetness. Sugarcane was a native of tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia.[7] Different species seem to have originated from different locations with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. edule and S. officinarum coming from New Guinea.[7][8] One of the earliest historical references to sugarcane is in Chinese manuscripts dating back to 8th century BC that state that the use of sugarcane originated in India.[9]

Sugar was found in Europe by the 1st century AD, but only as an imported medicine, and not as a food.[10][11] The Greek physician Dioscorides in the 1st century (AD) described sugar in his medical treatise De Materia Medica,[12] and Pliny the Elder, a 1st century (AD) Roman, described sugar in his Natural History: "Sugar is made in Arabia as well, but Indian sugar is better. It is a kind of honey found in cane, white as gum, and it crunches between the teeth. It comes in lumps the size of a hazelnut. Sugar is used only for medical purposes."[11]

Sugar remained relatively unimportant until the Indians discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that were easier to store and to transport.[13] Crystallized sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas, around the 5th century AD.[13] In the local Indian language, these crystals were called khanda (Devanagari:खण्ड,Khaṇḍa), which is the source of the word candy.[14]

Indian sailors, who carried clarified butter and sugar as supplies, introduced knowledge of sugar on the various trade routes they travelled.[13] Buddhist monks, as they travelled around, brought sugar crystallization methods to China.[15] During the reign of Harsha (r. 606–647) in North India, Indian envoys in Tang China taught methods of cultivating sugarcane after Emperor Taizong of Tang (r. 626–649) made known his interest in sugar. China then established its first sugarcane plantations in the seventh century.[16] Chinese documents confirm at least two missions to India, initiated in 647 AD, to obtain technology for sugar refining.[17] In South Asia, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of cooking and desserts.

Crusaders brought sugar home with them to Europe after their campaigns in the Holy Land, where they encountered caravans carrying "sweet salt". Early in the 12th century, Venice acquired some villages near Tyre and set up estates to produce sugar for export to Europe, where it supplemented honey, which had previously been the only available sweetener.[18] Crusade chronicler William of Tyre, writing in the late 12th century, described sugar as "very necessary for the use and health of mankind".[19] In the 15th century, Venice was the chief sugar refining and distribution centre in Europe.[9]

Modern history

Still-Life with Bread and Confectionery, by George Flegel, first half of 17th century

In August 1492, Christopher Columbus stopped at La Gomera in the Canary Islands, for wine and water, intending to stay only four days. He became romantically involved with the governor of the island, Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, and stayed a month. When he finally sailed, she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World.[20]

The first sugar cane harvest was conducted in Hispaniola in 1501, and many sugar mills had been constructed in Cuba and Jamaica by the 1520s.[21] The Portuguese took sugar cane to Brazil. By 1540, there were 800 cane sugar mills in Santa Catarina Island and another 2,000 on the north coast of Brazil, Demarara, and Surinam.

Hacienda La Fortuna. A sugar mill complex in Puerto Rico, painted by Francisco Oller in 1885. Brooklyn Museum

Sugar was a luxury in Europe until the 18th century, when it became more widely available. It then became popular and by the 19th century, sugar came to be considered a necessity. This evolution of taste and demand for sugar as an essential food ingredient unleashed major economic and social changes.[22] It drove, in part, colonization of tropical islands and nations where labor-intensive sugarcane plantations and sugar manufacturing could thrive. The demand for cheap labor to perform the hard work involved in its cultivation and processing increased the demand for the slave trade from Africa (in particular West Africa). After slavery was abolished, there was high demand for indentured laborers from South Asia (in particular India).[23][24][25] Millions of slave and indentured laborers were brought into the Caribbean and the Americas, Indian Ocean colonies, southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and East Africa and Natal. The modern ethnic mix of many nations that have been settled in the last two centuries has been influenced by the demand for sugar.[26][27][28]

Sugar also led to some industrialization of areas where sugar cane was grown. For example, Lieutenant J. Paterson, of the Bengal establishment, persuaded the British Government that sugar cane could be cultivated in British India with many advantages and at less expense than in the West Indies; as a result, sugar factories were established in Bihar in eastern India.[29]

During the Napoleonic Wars, sugar beet production increased in continental Europe because of the difficulty of importing sugar when shipping was subject to blockade. By 1880, the sugar beet was the main source of sugar in Europe. It was cultivated in Lincolnshire and other parts of England, although the United Kingdom continued to import the main part of its sugar from its colonies.[30]

Until the late nineteenth century, sugar was purchased in loaves, which had to be cut using implements called sugar nips.[31] In later years, granulated sugar was more usually sold in bags.

Sugar cubes were produced in the nineteenth century. The first inventor of a process to make sugar in cube form was the Moravian Jakub Kryštof Rad, director of a sugar company in Dačice. He began sugar cube production after being granted a five-year patent for the process on January 23, 1843. Henry Tate of Tate & Lyle was another early manufacturer of sugar cubes at his refineries in Liverpool and London. Tate purchased a patent for sugar cube manufacture from German Eugen Langen, who in 1872 had invented a different method of processing of sugar cubes.[32]


Sugar, granulated
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,619 kJ (387 kcal)
99.98 g
Sugars 99.91 g
Dietary fiber 0 g
0 g
0 g
Riboflavin (B2)

0.019 mg


1 mg


0.01 mg


2 mg

Other constituents
Water 0.03 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Sugars, brown
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,576 kJ (377 kcal)
97.33 g
Sugars 96.21 g
Dietary fiber 0 g
0 g
0 g
Thiamine (B1)

0.008 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.007 mg

Niacin (B3)

0.082 mg

Vitamin B6

0.026 mg

Folate (B9)

1 μg


85 mg


1.91 mg


29 mg


22 mg


133 mg


39 mg


0.18 mg

Other constituents
Water 1.77 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Main article: Carbohydrate

Scientifically, sugar loosely refers to a number of carbohydrates, such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, or oligosaccharides. Monosaccharides are also called "simple sugars," the most important being glucose. Almost all sugars have the formula C
(n is between 3 and 7). Glucose has the molecular formula C
. The names of typical sugars end with -ose, as in "glucose" and "fructose". Sometimes such words may also refer to any types of carbohydrates soluble in water. The acyclic mono- and disaccharides contain either aldehyde groups or ketone groups. These carbon-oxygen double bonds (C=O) are the reactive centers. All saccharides with more than one ring in their structure result from two or more monosaccharides joined by glycosidic bonds with the resultant loss of a molecule of water (H
) per bond.[33]

Monosaccharides in a closed-chain form can form glycosidic bonds with other monosaccharides, creating disaccharides (such as sucrose) and polysaccharides (such as starch). Enzymes must hydrolyze or otherwise break these glycosidic bonds before such compounds become metabolized. After digestion and absorption the principal monosaccharides present in the blood and internal tissues include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Many pentoses and hexoses can form ring structures. In these closed-chain forms, the aldehyde or ketone group remains non-free, so many of the reactions typical of these groups cannot occur. Glucose in solution exists mostly in the ring form at equilibrium, with less than 0.1% of the molecules in the open-chain form.[33]

Natural polymers of sugars

Biopolymers of sugars are common in nature. Through photosynthesis, plants produce glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P), a phosphated 3-carbon sugar that is used by the cell to make monosaccharides such as glucose (C
) or (as in cane and beet) sucrose (C
). Monosaccharides may be further converted into structural polysaccharides such as cellulose and pectin for cell wall construction or into energy reserves in the form of storage polysaccharides such as starch or inulin. Starch, consisting of two different polymers of glucose, is a readily degradable form of chemical energy stored by cells, and can be converted to other types of energy.[33] Another polymer of glucose is cellulose, which is a linear chain composed of several hundred or thousand glucose units. It is used by plants as a structural component in their cell walls. Humans can digest cellulose only to a very limited extent, though ruminants can do so with the help of symbiotic bacteria in their gut.[34] DNA and RNA are built up of the monosaccharides deoxyribose and ribose, respectively. Deoxyribose has the formula C
and ribose the formula C


Because sugars burn easily when exposed to flame, the handling of sugars risks dust explosion. The 2008 Georgia sugar refinery explosion, which killed 14 persons and injured 40, and destroyed most of the refinery, was caused by the ignition of sugar dust.

Magnification of grains of refined sucrose, the most common free sugar.

Types of sugar


Fructose, galactose, and glucose are all simple sugars, monosaccharides, with the general formula C6H12O6. They have five hydroxyl groups (−OH) and a carbonyl group (C=O) and are cyclic when dissolved in water. They each exist as several isomers with dextro- and laevo-rotatory forms that cause polarized light to diverge to the right or the left.[36]


Lactose, maltose, and sucrose are all compound sugars, disaccharides, with the general formula C12H22O11. They are formed by the combination of two monosaccharide molecules with the exclusion of a molecule of water.[36]


The sugar contents of common fruits and vegetables are presented in Table 1. All data with a unit of g (gram) are based on 100 g of a food item. The fructose/glucose ratio is calculated by dividing the sum of free fructose plus half sucrose by the sum of free glucose plus half sucrose.

Table 1. Sugar content of selected common plant foods (g/100g)[43]
Food item Total
"dietary fibre"
Sucrose Fructose/
as a % of
total sugars
Apple 13.8 10.4 5.9 2.4 2.1 2.0 19.9
Apricot 11.1 9.2 0.9 2.4 5.9 0.7 63.5
Banana 22.8 12.2 4.9 5.0 2.4 1.0 20.0
Fig, dried 63.9 47.9 22.9 24.8 0.9 0.93 0.15
Grapes 18.1 15.5 8.1 7.2 0.2 1.1 1
Navel orange 12.5 8.5 2.25 2.0 4.3 1.1 50.4
Peach 9.5 8.4 1.5 2.0 4.8 0.9 56.7
Pear 15.5 9.8 6.2 2.8 0.8 2.1 8.0
Pineapple 13.1 9.9 2.1 1.7 6.0 1.1 60.8
Plum 11.4 9.9 3.1 5.1 1.6 0.66 16.2
Beet, red 9.6 6.8 0.1 0.1 6.51.0 96.2
Carrot 9.6 4.7 0.6 0.6 3.6 1.0 77
Corn, sweet 19.0 6.2 1.9 3.4 0.9 0.61 15.0
Red pepper, sweet 6.0 4.2 2.3 1.9 0.0 1.2 0.0
Onion, sweet 7.6 5.0 2.0 2.3 0.7 0.9 14.3
Sweet potato20.1 4.2 0.7 1.0 2.5 0.9 60.3
Yam 27.9 0.5 tr tr tr na tr
Sugar cane 13 - 18 0.2 – 1.0 0.2 – 1.0 11 - 16 1.0 high
Sugar beet 17 - 18 0.1 – 0.5 0.1 – 0.516 - 17 1.0 high
^A The carbohydrate figure is calculated in the USDA database and does not always correspond to the sum of the sugars, the starch, and the "dietary fibre".


See also: List of sugars

Sugar beet

A pack of sugar made of sugar beet.

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is a biennial plant[44] in the Family Amaranthaceae, the tuberous root of which contains a high proportion of sucrose. It is cultivated in temperate regions with adequate rainfall and requires a fertile soil. The crop is harvested mechanically in the autumn and the crown of leaves and excess soil removed. The roots do not deteriorate rapidly and may be left in a clamp in the field for some weeks before being transported to the processing plant. Here the crop is washed and sliced and the sugar extracted by diffusion. Milk of lime is added to the raw juice and carbonatated in a number of stages in order to purify it. Water is evaporated by boiling the syrup under a vacuum. The syrup is then cooled and seeded with sugar crystals. The white sugar that crystallizes out can be separated in a centrifuge and dried. It requires no further refining.[45]


Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is a perennial grass in the family Poaceae. It is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions for the sucrose that is found in its stems. It requires a frost-free climate with sufficient rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant's great growth potential. The crop is harvested mechanically or by hand, chopped into lengths and conveyed rapidly to the processing plant. Here, it is either milled and the juice extracted with water or extracted by diffusion. The juice is then clarified with lime and heated to destroy enzymes. The resulting thin syrup is concentrated in a series of evaporators, after which further water is removed by evaporation in vacuum containers. The resulting supersaturated solution is seeded with sugar crystals and the sugar crystallizes out and is separated from the fluid and dried. Molasses is a by-product of the process and the fiber from the stems, known as bagasse, is burned to provide energy for the sugar extraction process. The crystals of raw sugar have a sticky brown coating and either can be used as they are or can be bleached by sulfur dioxide or can be treated in a carbonatation process to produce a whiter product.[46] About 2,500 litres (660 US gal) of irrigation water is needed for every one kilogram of sugar produced.[47]


Sugars; clockwise from top-left:
White refined, unrefined,
brown, unprocessed cane

Refined sugar is made from raw sugar that has undergone a refining process to remove the molasses.[48][49] Raw sugar is a sucrose which is synthesized from sugarcane or sugar beet and cannot immediately be consumed before going through the refining process to produce refined sugar or white sugar.[50][51]

The sugar may be transported in bulk to the country where it will be used and the refining process often takes place there. The first stage is known as affination and involves immersing the sugar crystals in a concentrated syrup that softens and removes the sticky brown coating without dissolving them. The crystals are then separated from the liquor and dissolved in water. The resulting syrup is treated either by a carbonatation or by a phosphatation process. Both involve the precipitation of a fine solid in the syrup and when this is filtered out, many of the impurities are removed at the same time. Removal of colour is achieved by using either a granular activated carbon or an ion-exchange resin. The sugar syrup is concentrated by boiling and then cooled and seeded with sugar crystals, causing the sugar to crystallize out. The liquor is spun off in a centrifuge and the white crystals are dried in hot air and ready to be packaged or used. The surplus liquor is made into refiners' molasses.[52] The International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis sets standards for the measurement of the purity of refined sugar, known as ICUMSA numbers; lower numbers indicate a higher level of purity in the refined sugar.[53]

Unrefined sugar

Refined sugar is widely used for industrial needs for higher quality. Refined sugar is purer (ICUMSA below 300) than raw sugar (ICUMSA over 1,500).[54] The level of purity associated with the colors of sugar, expressed by standard number ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods of sugar Analysis), the smaller ICUMSA numbers indicate that higher purity of sugar.[54]

Producing countries

The five largest producers of sugar in 2011 were Brazil, India, the European Union, China and Thailand. In the same year, the largest exporter of sugar was Brazil, distantly followed by Thailand, Australia and India. The largest importers were the European Union, United States and Indonesia. At present, Brazil has the highest per capita consumption of sugar, followed by Australia, Thailand, and the European Union.[55][56]

World sugar production (1000 metric tons)[55]
Country 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Brazil 31,600 31,850 36,400 38,350 35,750
India 28,630 15,950 20,637 26,650 28,300
European Union 15,614 14,014 16,687 15,090 16,740
China 15,898 13,317 11,429 11,199 11,840
Thailand 7,820 7,200 6,930 9,663 10,170
United States 7,396 6,833 7,224 7,110 7,153
Mexico 5,852 5,260 5,115 5,495 5,650
Russia 3,200 3,481 3,444 2,996 4,800
Pakistan 4,163 3,512 3,420 3,920 4,220
Australia 4,939 4,814 4,700 3,700 4,150
Other 38,424 37,913 37,701 37,264 39,474
Total 163,536 144,144 153,687 161,437 168,247

Forms and uses

Rock candy crystallized out of a supersaturated sugar solution that contains green dye.


In most parts of the world, sugar is an important part of the human diet, making food more palatable and providing food energy. After cereals and vegetable oils, sugar derived from sugarcane and beet provided more kilocalories per capita per day on average than other food groups.[62] According to the FAO, an average of 24 kilograms (53 lb) of sugar, equivalent to over 260 food calories per day, was consumed annually per person of all ages in the world in 1999. Even with rising human populations, sugar consumption is expected to increase to 25.1 kilograms (55 lb) per person per year by 2015.[63]

Data collected in multiple nationwide surveys between 1999 and 2008 show that the intake of added sugars has declined by 24 percent with declines occurring in all age, ethnic and income groups.[64]

World sugar consumption (1000 metric tons)[65]
Country 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
India 22,021 23,500 22,500 23,500 25,500 26,500
European Union 16,496 16,760 17,400 17,800 17,800 17,800
China 14,250 14,500 14,300 14,000 14,400 14,900
Brazil 11,400 11,650 11,800 12,000 11,500 11,700
United States 9,590 9,473 9,861 10,086 10,251 10,364
Other 77,098 76,604 77,915 78,717 80,751 81,750
Total 150,855 152,487 153,776 156,103 160,202 163,014

The per capita consumption of refined sugar in the United States has varied between 27 and 46 kilograms (60 and 101 lb) in the last 40 years. In 2008, American per capita total consumption of sugar and sweeteners, exclusive of artificial sweeteners, equalled 61.9 kg (136 lb) per year. This consisted of 29.65 kg (65.4 lb) pounds of refined sugar and 31 kg (68.3 lb) pounds of corn-derived sweeteners per person.[66][67]

Health effects

Studies examining the health impact of sugars are inconclusive. The United Nations meta-analyses and WHO studies showed contrasting impacts of sugar in refined and unrefined forms.[68] Other studies indicated variable results between health effects, particularly on obesity, and whether the research was funded by the sugar industry or those by independent sponsors.[69]


Sugar addiction is the term for the relationship between sugar and the various aspects of food addiction including "bingeing, withdrawal, craving and cross-sensitization". Some scientists assert that consumption of sweets or sugar could have a heroin addiction-like effect.[70]

Alzheimer's disease

Claims have been made of a sugarAlzheimer's disease connection, but debate continues over whether cognitive decline is attributable to dietary fructose or to overall energy intake.[71][72]

Blood glucose levels

Carbohydrates are classified according to their glycemic index, a system for measuring how quickly a food that is eaten raises blood sugar levels, and glycemic load, which takes into account both the glycemic index and the amount of carbohydrate in the food.[73] This has led to carbohydrate counting, a method used by diabetics for planning their meals.[74]

Cardiovascular disease

Studies in animals have suggested that chronic consumption of refined sugars can contribute to metabolic and cardiovascular dysfunction. Some experts have suggested that refined fructose is more damaging than refined glucose in terms of cardiovascular risk.[75] Cardiac performance has been shown to be impaired by switching from a carbohydrate diet including fiber to a high-carbohydrate diet.[76] Switching from saturated fatty acids to carbohydrates with high glycemic index values shows a statistically-significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction.[77] Other studies have shown that the risk of developing coronary heart disease is decreased by adopting a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids but low in sugar, whereas a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet brings no reduction. This suggests that consuming a diet with a high glycemic load typical of the "junk food" diet is strongly associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.[78]

The consumption of added sugars has been positively associated with multiple measures known to increase cardiovascular disease risk amongst adolescents as well as adults.[79] Studies are suggesting that the impact of refined carbohydrates or high glycemic load carbohydrates are more significant than the impact of saturated fatty acids on cardiovascular disease.[80][81] A high dietary intake of sugar (in this case, sucrose or disaccharide) can substantially increase the risk of heart and vascular diseases. According to a Swedish study of 4301 people undertaken by Lund University and Malmö University College, sugar was associated with higher levels of bad blood lipids, causing a high level of small and medium low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In contrast, the amount of fat eaten did not affect the level of blood fats. Incidentally quantities of alcohol and protein were linked to an increase in the good HDL blood fat.[82]


There is a common notion that sugar leads to hyperactivity, in particular in children, but studies and meta-studies question or address this issue.[83] Some articles and studies do refer to the increasing evidence supporting the links between refined sugar and hyperactivity.[84][85][86] The WHO FAO meta-study suggests that such inconclusive results are to be expected when some studies do not effectively segregate or control for free sugars as opposed to sugars still in their natural form (entirely unrefined) while others do.[68] One study followed thirty-five 5-to-7-year-old boys who were reported by their mothers to be behaviorally "sugar-sensitive." They were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. In the experimental group, mothers were told that their children were fed sugar, and, in the control group, mothers were told that their children received a placebo. In fact, all children received the placebo, but mothers in the sugar expectancy condition rated their children as significantly more hyperactive.[87] This result suggests that the real effect of sugar is that it increases worrying among parents with preconceived notions.

Obesity and diabetes

Controlled trials have now shown unequivocally that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increases body weight and body fat, and that replacement of sugar by artificial sweeteners reduces weight.[88][89][90] Studies on the link between sugars and diabetes are inconclusive, with some suggesting that eating excessive amounts of sugar does not increase the risk of diabetes, although the extra calories from consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to obesity, which may itself increase the risk of developing this metabolic disease.[91][92][93][94][95][96] Other studies show correlation between refined sugar (free sugar) consumption and the onset of diabetes, and negative correlation with the consumption of fiber.[97][98][99][100] These included a 2010 meta-analysis of eleven studies involving 310,819 participants and 15,043 cases of type 2 diabetes.[101] This found that "SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes not only through obesity but also by increasing dietary glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, and inflammation". As an overview to consumption related to chronic disease and obesity, the World Health Organization's independent meta-studies specifically distinguish free sugars ("all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices") from sugars occurring naturally in food. The reports prior to 2000 set the limits for free sugars at a maximum of 10% of carbohydrate intake, measured by energy, rather than mass, and since 2002 have aimed for a level across the entire population of less than 10%.[68] The consultation committee recognized that this goal is "controversial. However, the Consultation considered that the studies showing no effect of free sugars on excess weight have limitations".[68] A 2015 New York Times report noted that "a review of beverage studies, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts."[69]

Tooth decay

In regard to contributions to tooth decay, the role of free sugars is also recommended to be below an absolute maximum of 10% of energy intake, with a minimum of zero. There is "convincing evidence from human intervention studies, epidemiological studies, animal studies and experimental studies, for an association between the amount and frequency of free sugars intake and dental caries" while other sugars (complex carbohydrate) consumption is normally associated with a lower rate of dental caries.[102] Lower rates of tooth decay have been seen in individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance.[103]

Also, studies have shown that the consumption of sugar and starch have different impacts on oral health with the ingestion of starchy foods and fresh fruit being associated with low levels of dental caries.[102]

Recommended dietary intake

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends [104] that both adults and children reduce the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake. A reduction to below 5% of total energy intake brings additional health benefits, especially in what regards dental caries. These recommendations were based on the totality of available evidence reviewed regarding the relationship between free sugars intake and body weight and dental caries.

Free sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.[104]


Various culinary sugars have different densities due to differences in particle size and inclusion of moisture.

Domino Sugar gives the following weight to volume conversions (in United States customary units):[105]

The "Engineering Resources – Bulk Density Chart" published in Powder and Bulk gives different values for the bulk densities:[106]

See also


  1. The -g- is unexplained, possibly reflecting a Venetian dialect.
  2. Ahmad Y Hassan, Transfer Of Islamic Technology To The West, Part III: Technology Transfer in the Chemical Industries, History of Science and Technology in Islam.
  3. σάκχαρ, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  4. This form is not phonetically explained, but may reflect a mediation through a language en route from the Sanskrit original. Modern Greek ζάχαρη [sáχari] is due to cluster simplification [kχ] > [χ] and initial sandhi (acc. την σάχαρη [tin sáχari] > τη ζάχαρη [ti záχari]). The word has also changed its nominal class.
  5. "Jaggery". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  6. Moxham, Roy, The Great Hedge of India, Carroll & Graf, 2001 ISBN 0-7867-0976-6.
  7. 1 2 Kiple, Kenneth F. & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas. World history of Food – Sugar. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  8. Sharpe, Peter (1998). "Sugar Cane: Past and Present". Illinois: Southern Illinois University. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011.
  9. 1 2 Rolph, George (1873). Something about sugar: its history, growth, manufacture and distribution.
  10. Galloway, J.H., The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origins to 1914, 1989, page 23.
  11. 1 2 Faas, Patrick, (2003). Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 149.
  12. "There is a kind of coalesced honey called sakcharon [i.e. sugar] found in reeds in India and Eudaimon Arabia similar in consistency to salt and brittle enough to be broken between the teeth like salt," Quoted from Book Two of Dioscorides' Materia Medica. The book is downloadable from links at the Wikipedia Dioscorides page.
  13. 1 2 3 Adas, Michael (January 2001). Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History. Temple University Press. ISBN 1-56639-832-0. Page 311.
  14. "Sugarcane: Saccharum Offcinarum" (PDF). USAID, Govt of United States. 2006. p. 7.1.
  15. Kieschnick, John (2003). The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09676-7.
  16. Sen, Tansen. (2003). Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600–1400. Manoa: Asian Interactions and Comparisons, a joint publication of the University of Hawaii Press and the Association for Asian Studies. ISBN 0-8248-2593-4. Pages 38–40.
  17. Kieschnick, John (2003). The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture Princeton University Press. 258. ISBN 0-691-09676-7.
  18. Ponting, Clive (2000) [2000]. World history: a new perspective. London: Chatto & Windus. p. 481. ISBN 0-7011-6834-X.
  19. Barber, Malcolm (2004). The two cities: medieval Europe, 1050–1320 (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-415-17415-2.
  20. Abreu y Galindo, J. de; A. Cioranescu (ed) (1977). Historia de la conquista de las siete islas de Canarias. Tenerife: Goya ediciones.
  21. Benitez-Rojo 1996, p. 93.
  22. Mintz, Sidney (1986). Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-009233-2.
  23. "Forced Labour". The National Archives, Government of the United Kingdom. 2010.
  24. Lai, Walton (1993). Indentured labor, Caribbean sugar: Chinese and Indian migrants to the British West Indies, 1838–1918. ISBN 978-0-8018-7746-9.
  25. Vertovik, Steven; (Robin Cohen, ed.) (1995). The Cambridge survey of world migration. pp. 57–68. ISBN 978-0-521-44405-7.
  26. Laurence, K (1994). A Question of Labour: Indentured Immigration Into Trinidad & British Guiana, 1875–1917. St Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-12172-3.
  27. "St. Lucia's Indian Arrival Day". Caribbean Repeating Islands. 2009.
  28. "Indian indentured labourers". The National Archives, Government of the United Kingdom. 2010.
  29. Early Sugar Industry of Bihar – Bihargatha. Retrieved on 2012-01-07.
  30. "How Sugar is Made – the History". SKIL: Sugar Knowledge International. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  31. "A Visit to the Tate & Lyle Archive". The Sugar Girls blog. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  32. Barrett, Duncan & Nuala Calvi. The Sugar Girls. Collins. p. ix. ISBN 978-0-00-744847-0.
  33. 1 2 3 Pigman, Ward; Horton, D. (1972). Pigman and Horton, ed. The Carbohydrates: Chemistry and Biochemistry Vol 1A (2nd ed.). San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 1–67. ISBN 0-12-556352-3.
  34. Joshi, S; Agte, V (1995). "Digestibility of dietary fiber components in vegetarian men". Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands). 48 (1): 39–44. doi:10.1007/BF01089198. PMID 8719737.
  35. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (11th ed.), Merck, 1989, ISBN 091191028X, 8205.
  36. 1 2 3 4 Buss, David; Robertson, Jean (1976). Manual of Nutrition; Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. pp. 5–9.
  37. Kretchmer, Norman; Claire B. Hollenbeck (1991). "Sugars and Sweeteners". CRC Press, Inc. ISBN 9780849388354.
  38. Raven, Peter H. & George B. Johnson (1995). Carol J. Mills, ed. Understanding Biology (3rd ed.). WM C. Brown. p. 203. ISBN 0-697-22213-6.
  39. Schenck, Fred W. (2006). "Glucose and Glucose-Containing Syrups". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi: 10.1002/14356007.a12_457.pub2
  40. "Lactase". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  41. "Maltase". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  42. "Sucrase". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  43. NAL USDA National Nutrient Database
  44. "Biennial beet". GMO Compass. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  45. "How Beet Sugar is Made". SKIL. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  46. "How Cane Sugar is Made". SKIL. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  47. Flynn, Kerry (April 23, 2016). "India Drought 2016 May Lead 29-35% Drop In Sugar Output For 2016-17 Season: Report". International Business Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  48. "Tantangan Menghadapi Ketergantungan Impor Gula Rafinasi" (in Indonesian). Asosiasi Gula Rafinasi Indonesia. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  49. "Rafinasi Vs Gula Kristal Putih" (in Indonesian). Kompas Gramedia. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  50. "Refining and Processing Sugar" (PDF). The Sugar Association. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  51. Pakpahan, Agus; Supriono, Agus, eds. (2005). "Bagaimana Gula Dimurnikan - Proses Dasar". Ketika Tebu Mulai Berbunga (in Indonesian). Bogor: Sugar Observer. ISBN 979-99311-0-X.
  52. "How Sugar is Refined". SKIL. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  53. Deulgaonkar, Atul (March 12–25, 2005). "A case for reform". Frontline. 22 (8).
  54. 1 2 Pakpahan, Agus; Supriono, Agus, eds. (2005). "Industri Rafinasi Kunci Pembuka Restrukturisasi Industri Gula Indonesia". Ketika Tebu Mulai Berbunga (in Indonesian). Bogor: Sugar Observer. pp. 70–72. ISBN 979-99311-0-X.
  55. 1 2 "Sugar: World Markets and Trade" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. November 2011.
  56. International Illovo Sugar. Retrieved on 2012-01-07.
  57. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The journey of sugar". British Sugar. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  58. "Types and uses". Sugar Nutrition UK. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  59. "Low calorie sugars and sweeteners". Silver Spoon. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  60. European Parliament and Council (1990). "Council Directive on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs". Council Directive of 24 September 1990 on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs. p. 4. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  61. Robinson, Jancis (2006). The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 665–666. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
  62. "Food Balance Sheets". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2007.
  63. World agriculture: towards 2015/2030. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 92-5-104761-8.
  64. Welsh, Jean A.; Andrea J. Sharma; Lisa Grellinger; Miriam B. Vos (2011). "Consumption of added sugars is decreasing in the United States". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 94. American Society for Nutrition. 726-734. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  65. "Sugar: World Markets and Trade" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. May 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  66. "Sugarcane profile". Ag Marketing Research Center, partially funded by USDA Rural Development. 2011.
  67. "Sugars and Sweeteners". Economic Research Service, USDA. 2011.
  68. 1 2 3 4 Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation (2003). "WHO Technical Report Series 916 Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases". Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  69. 1 2 O'Connor, Anahad, "Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets", The New York Times, August 9, 2015. Retrieved 2016-09-13
  70. Avena, Nicole M.; Rada, Pedro; Hoebel, Bartley G. (2008). "Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake". Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 32 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.04.019. PMC 2235907Freely accessible. PMID 17617461.
  71. Lakhan, Shaheen E. & Annette Kirchgessner (2013). "The emerging role of dietary fructose in obesity and cognitive decline". Nutrition Journal. 12 (1): 114. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-114. PMC 3751294Freely accessible. PMID 23924506.
  72. Chiavaroli, Laura; Vanessa Ha; Russell J. de Souza; Cyril W. C. Kendall & John L. Sievenpiper (2014). "Fructose in obesity and cognitive decline: is it the fructose or the excess energy?". Nutrition Journal. 13 (1): 27. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-27. PMC 3987663Freely accessible. PMID 24666585.
  73. "Carbohydrates and the Glycemic Load". Harvard School of Public Health.
  74. Beaser, Richard S.; Campbell, Amy P. (2005). The Joslin guide to diabetes: a program for managing your treatment (2nd ed.). Simon and Schuster. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7432-5784-8.
  75. Brown, Clive M.; Dulloo, Abdul G.; Montani, Jean-Pierre (2008). "Sugary drinks in the pathogenesis of obesity and cardiovascular diseases". International Journal of Obesity. 32: S28. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.204.
  76. Pôrto, Laura C.J.; Savergnini, Sílvia S.Q.; de Castro, Carlos H.; Mario, Érica G.; Ferreira, Adaliene V.M.; Santos, Sérgio H.S.; Andrade, Sílvia P.; Santos, Robson A.S.; de Almeida, Alvair P.; Botion, Leida M. (2011). "Carbohydrate-enriched diet impairs cardiac performance by decreasing the utilization of fatty acid and glucose". Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease. 5 (1): 11–22. doi:10.1177/1753944710386282. PMID 21282201.
  77. Jakobsen, Marianne U.; Claus Dethlefsen; Albert M. Joensen; Jakob Stegger; Anne Tjønneland; Erik B. Schmidt & Kim Overvad (2010). "Intake of carbohydrates compared with intake of saturated fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction: importance of the glycemic index". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 91 (6): 1764–8. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29099. PMID 20375186.
  78. Stanley, William C.; Keyur B. Shah & M. Faadiel Essop (2009). "Does Junk Food Lead to Heart Failure? Importance of Dietary Macronutrient Composition in Hypertension". Hypertension. 54 (6): 1209–10. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.128660. PMC 2803034Freely accessible. PMID 19841293.
  79. Welsh, Jean A.; Sharma, Andrea; Cunningham, Solveig A.; Vos, Miriam B. (2011). "Consumption of Added Sugars and Indicators of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among US Adolescents". Circulation. 123 (3): 249–57. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.972166. PMID 21220734.
  80. Siri-Tarino, Patty W.; Sun, Qi; Hu, Frank B.; Krauss, Ronald M. (2010). "Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 91 (3): 502–9. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26285. PMC 2824150Freely accessible. PMID 20089734.
  81. Hu, Frank B. (2010). "Are refined carbohydrates worse than saturated fat?". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 91 (6): 1541–2. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29622. PMC 2869506Freely accessible. PMID 20410095.
  82. Sonestedt, Emily; Wirfält, Elisabet; Wallström, Peter; Gullberg, Bo; Drake, Isabel; Hlebowicz, Joanna; Nordin Fredrikson, Gunilla; Hedblad, Bo; Nilsson, Jan; Krauss, Ronald M.; Orho-Melander, Marju (2011). "High disaccharide intake associates with atherogenic lipoprotein profile". British Journal of Nutrition. 107: 1062–1069. doi:10.1017/S0007114511003783.
  83. "Shaking salt and sugar from your diet". "Consumer Reports on Health" via January 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2011This cite used to go to Consumer Reports but to a non-specific page with nothing there or by search on sugar; the BusinessLife link carries an article by the same title with the quote and a link, also, to non-specific page at Consumer Reports. One can see also a 1995 meta-analysis of 23 studies, in: Wolraich, Mark L.; Wilson, David B.; White, J. Wade (November 22, 1995). "The Effect of Sugar on Behavior or Cognition in Children". Journal of the American Medical Association. 20 (20): 1617–1621. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530200053037.
  84. Lien, Lars; Lien, Nanna; Heyerdahl, Sonja; Thoresen, Magne; Bjertness, Espen (2006). "Consumption of Soft Drinks and Hyperactivity, Mental Distress, and Conduct Problems Among Adolescents in Oslo, Norway". American Journal of Public Health. 96 (10): 1815–1820. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.059477. PMC 1586153Freely accessible. PMID 17008578.
  85. Azadbakht, Leila & Ahmad Esmaillzadeh (2011). "Dietary patterns and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among Iranian children". Nutrition. 28: 242–249. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2011.05.018.
  86. Davis, Caroline (2010). "Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Associations with Overeating and Obesity". Current Psychiatry Reports. 12 (5): 389–395. doi:10.1007/s11920-010-0133-7. PMID 20632134.
  87. Hoover, D. W.; Milich, R. (1994). "Effects of sugar ingestion expectancies on mother-child interactions". Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 22 (4): 501–515. doi:10.1007/BF02168088. PMID 7963081.
  88. de Ruyter, Janne C.; Margreet R. Olthof; Jacob C. Seidell & Martijn B. Katan (October 2012). "A Trial of Sugar-free or Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Body Weight in Children". New England Journal of Medicine. 367 (15): 1397–1406. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203034.
  89. Ebbeling, Cara B.; Henry A. Feldman, Virginia R. Chomitz, Tracy A. Antonelli, Steven L. Gortmaker, Stavroula K. Osganian, and David S. Ludwig (October 2012). "A Randomized Trial of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Adolescent Body Weight". New England Journal of Medicine. 367 (15): 1407–1416. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203388. PMC 3494993Freely accessible. PMID 22998339.
  90. Malik, Vasanti S.; Pan, An; Willett, Walter C.; Hu, Frank B. (2013-10-01). "Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 98 (4): 1084–1102. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.058362. ISSN 0002-9165. PMC 3778861Freely accessible. PMID 23966427.
  91. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "Diabetes Quiz." Last Modified 2007-07-11.
  92. American Dietetic Association. "Nutrition: Fact vs. Fiction."
  93. Joslin Diabetes Center "Classroom Presentation on Diabetes for Elementary School Age Children."
  94. Marschilok, Catherine. "Ask a Medical Professional: Diabetes Myths and Misconceptions." Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  95. American Diabetes Association. "Diabetes Myths."
  96. National Diabetes Education Program. "Tips for Teens with Diabetes." Last Modified November 2007.
  97. Apovian, C. M. (2004). "Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drinks, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 292 (8): 978. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.978.
  98. Gross, Lee S.; Li Li, Earl S. Ford and Simin Liu (2004). "Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 79 (5): 774–779. PMID 15113714.
  99. Stern, M. P.; C. Gonzalez, B. D. Mitchell, E. Villalpando, S. M. Haffner and H. P. Hazuda (1992). "Genetic and environmental determinants of type II diabetes in Mexico City and San Antonio". Diabetes. 41 (4): 484–492. doi:10.2337/diabetes.41.4.484. PMID 1607073.
  100. "Carbohydrate quantity and quality and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 92: 905–911. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29620.
  101. Malik, V. S.; Popkin, B. M.; Bray, G. A.; Despres, J.-P.; Willett, W. C.; Hu, F. B. (2010). "Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes: A meta-analysis". Diabetes Care. 33 (11): 2477–2483. doi:10.2337/dc10-1079. PMC 2963518Freely accessible. PMID 20693348.
  102. 1 2 Moynihan, P.; Petersen, P. E. (2004). "Diet, nutrition and the prevention of dental diseases" (PDF). Public Health Nutrition. 7 (1A): 201–226. doi:10.1079/PHN2003589. PMID 14972061.
  103. Zero, Domenick T.; Margherita Fontana; E. Angeles Martínez-Mier; Andréa Ferreira-Zandoná; Masatoshi Ando; Carlos González-Cabezas & Stephen Bayne (September 2009). "The Biology, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Dental Caries: Scientific Advances in the United States". Journal of the American Dental Association. 140: 25S–34S. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2009.0355. PMID 19723928.
  104. 1 2 See Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015
  105. "Measurement & conversion charts". Domino Sugar. 2011. Archived from the original on Oct 3, 2014.
  106. "Engineering Resources – Bulk Density Chart". Powder and Bulk.

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sugars.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.