where is sugar from?
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
The first production of sugar from sugar-cane took place in India. Alexander the Great's companions reported seeing "honey produced without the intervention of bees" and it remained exotic in Europe until the Arabs started cultivating it in Sicily and Spain. Only after the Crusades did it begin to rival honey as the sweetener in Europe. The Spanish began cultivating sugar cane in the West Indies in 1506, and in Cuba in 1523. It was first cultivated in Brazil 1532 by the Portuguese.
Table sugar or sucrose comes from plant sources. The most important two sugar crops are sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and sugar beets (Beta vulgaris), in which sugar can account for 12%–20% of the plant's dry weight. Some minor commercial sugar crops include the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare), and the sugar maple (Acer saccharum). In the financial year 2001/2002, 134.1 million tonnes of sugar were produced worldwide.
Most cane sugar comes from countries with warm climates, such as Brazil, India, China and Australia (in descending order). In 2001/2002 there was over twice as much sugar produced in developing countries as in developed countries. The greatest quantity of sugar is produced in Latin America, the United States and the Caribbean nations, and in the Far East.
Beet sugar comes from regions with cooler climates: northwest and eastern Europe, northern Japan, plus some areas in the United States including California. The beet growing season ends with the start of harvesting around September. Harvesting and processing continues until March in some cases. The duration of harvesting and processing is influenced by the availability of processing plant capacity, and weather - harvested beet can be laid up until processed but frost damaged beet becomes effectively unprocessable.
The European Union (EU) has become the world's second-largest sugar exporter. The Common Agricultural Policy of the EU sets maximum quotas for members' production to match supply and demand, and a price. Excess production quota is exported (approx 5 million tonnes in 2003). Part of this is "quota" sugar which is subsidised from industry levies, the remainder (approx half) is "C quota" sugar which is sold at market price without subsidy. These subsidies and a high import tariff make it difficult for other countries to export to the EU states, or compete with it on world markets. The U.S. sets high sugar prices to support its producers with the effect that many sugar consumers have switched to corn syrup (beverage manufacturers) or moved out of the country (candy makers).
The cheap prices of glucose syrups produced from wheat and corn (maize) threaten the traditional sugar market. In combination with artificial sweeteners, drink manufacturers can produce very low-cost products.
The Arabs and Berbers introduced sugar to Western Europe when they conquered the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century AD. The 1390s saw the development of a better press, which doubled the juice obtained from the cane. This permitted economic expansion of sugar plantations to Andalusia and the Algarve. In the 1420s, sugar was carried to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores.
In August 1492 Christopher Columbus stopped at 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, Beatrice de Bobadilla, and stayed a month. When he finally sailed she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World.
The Portuguese took sugar to Brazil. Hans Staden, published in 1555, writes that by 1540 Santa Catalina Island had 800 sugar-mills and the north coast of Brazil, Demarara and Surinam had another 2000. Approximately 3000 small mills built before 1550 in the New World created an unprecedented demand for cast iron gears, levers, axles and other implements. Specialist trades in mold making and iron casting were inevitably created in Europe by the expansion of sugar. Sugar mill construction is the missing link of the technological skills needed for the Industrial Revolution that is recognized as beginning in the first part of the 1600s.
After 1625 the Dutch carried sugarcane from South America to the Caribbean islands — from Barbados to the Virgin Islands. In the years 1625 to 1750, sugar was worth its weight in gold. Prices declined slowly as production became multi-sourced especially through British colonial policy. Sugar production also increased in the American Colonies, Cuba, and Brazil. African slaves became the dominant plantation worker as they were resistant to the diseases of malaria and yellow fever. European indentured servants were in shorter supply, susceptible to disease and a less economic investment. Local Native Americans had been reduced by European diseases like smallpox.
With the European colonization of the Americas, the Caribbean became the world's largest source of sugar. These islands could supply sugar-cane using slave labour and produce sugar at prices vastly lower than those of cane sugar imported from the East. Thus the economies of entire islands such as Guadaloupe and Barbados became based on sugar production. By 1750 the French colony known as Saint-Domingue (subsequently the independent country of Haiti) became the largest sugar-producer in the world. Jamaica too became a major producer in the 18th century. Sugar-plantations fueled a demand for manpower; between 1701 and 1810 ships brought nearly one million slaves to work in Jamaica and in Barbados.
During the eighteenth century, sugar became enormously popular and went through a series of booms. The heightened demand and production of sugar came about to a large extent due to a great change in the eating habits of many Europeans. For example, they began consuming jams, candy, tea, coffee, cocoa, processed foods, and other sweet victuals in much greater numbers. Reacting to this increasing craze, the islands took advantage of the situation and began harvesting sugar in extreme amounts. In fact, they produced up to ninety percent of the sugar that the western Europeans consumed. Of course some islands were more successful than others when it came to producing the product. For instance, Barbados and the British Leewards can be said to have been the most successful in the production of sugar because it counted for 93% and 97% respectively of each island’s exports.
Planters later began developing ways to boost production even more. For example, they began using more animal manure when growing their crops. They also developed more advanced mills and began using better types of sugar-cane. Despite these and other improvements, the prices of sugar reached soaring heights, especially during events such as the revolt against the Dutch and the Napoleonic wars. Sugar remained in high demand, and the islands' planters knew exactly how to take advantage of the situation.
As Europeans established sugar-plantations on the larger Caribbean islands, prices fell, especially in Britain. The previous luxury product began, by the eighteenth century, to be commonly consumed by all levels of society. At first most sugar in Britain was used in tea, but later candies and chocolates became extremely popular. Sugar was commonly sold in solid cones and required a sugar nip, a pliers-like tool, to break off pieces.
Sugar-cane quickly exhausts the soil, and growers pressed larger islands with fresher soil into production in the nineteenth century. For example, it was in this century that Cuba rose as the richest land in the Caribbean (with sugar being its dominant crop) because it was the only major island that was free of mountainous terrain. Instead, nearly three-quarters of its land formed a rolling plain which was ideal for planting crops. Cuba also prospered above other islands because they used better methods when harvesting the sugar crops. They had been introduced to modern milling methods such as water mills, enclosed furnaces, steam engines, and vacuum pans. All these things increased their production and production rate.
After the Haïtian Revolution established the independent state of Haiti, sugar production in that country declined and Cuba replaced Saint-Domingue as the world's largest producer.
Long established in Brazil, sugar production spread to other parts of South America, as well as to newer European colonies in Africa and in the Pacific.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Sugar cane, and Sugar Beet.
- Loli MLv 51 decade ago
Sugar comes from either sugar cane or sugar beet.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are raised for sugar.
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- 1 decade ago
Sugar is refined from both sugar cane and sugar beets, and if you ever smelled the odor from a sugar refinery ( there are many in Florida), you might call it disgusting.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
- 1 decade ago
Common white sugar is from sugan can. They extract the juice from the plant, then refine it to get sugar. You also get molassas and brown sugar from the same plant
- Lotus PhoenixLv 61 decade ago
Sugar Cane. Look like green bamboo stalks, as kids we rip off the hard shell (?) of the stalk and chew on the meaty centre which is filled with sugar can juice...ecstacy!!!!
I think they grind it and dry it out and bleach it to make it white.
- MarianLv 44 years ago
- 1 decade ago
Sugar Cane, its also Grown here in South Africa
- 1 decade ago
Sugar cane, it grows on a tree.