Where Does Sugar Come From? The Sugar Refining Process Explained

The sugar refining process - where does sugar come from

The average American consumes nearly 152 pounds of sugar each year.
Do you know where refined sugar comes from? Or how it is processed?
Continue reading, and you will learn about the sugar refining process.

Where Does Refined Sugar Come From?

Refined sugar comes from sugar beet or sugarcane. The root of the sugar beet contains high levels of sucrose — a compound of glucose and fructose. Sugarcane is also grown for the production of biofuel.

Where Is Sugarcane Grown?
Sugarcane - cut and growing 499399
Wikipedia images adapted by Market Business News.

Brazil produces 739,300 thousand metric tons of sugarcane annually. The South-Central part of Brazil handles over 90 percent of the national production output of sugarcane. This is according to WorldAtlas.

The production of ethanol from leftover molasses is growing in popularity. This is because ethanol is a source of fuel for cars and other vehicles.

Where Is Sugar Beet Grown?
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Wikipedia images adapted by Market Business News.

Russia grows the most sugar beet, according to Beets2Live. Russian beet factories start production in August and September.

The best area to grow beet in Russia is in the Central Region of the country. This is according to the Russian Federation’s ‘Sugar Sector Review.’

Sugar Refining Process

You may be wondering how refined sugar is processed. The refining and processing of sugar starts at a refinery.

Sugar is naturally found in many plants, like fruit and vegetables. Dairy products, nuts, and seeds have sugar in them too.

To create refined sugar, manufacturers extract the sucrose juice from the sugar beet or sugarcane plant. This process extracts the natural sugar from within these two plants and uses them to make what we know as granulated sugar.

For more information about the sugar refining process, you can learn more here.

What Is Table Sugar?

Table sugar - chemical formula of sucrose 948948948948
Image created by Market Business News.

Table sugar is made from sucrose, according to Colorado State University. Table sugar is processed regularly from the plant.

Sucrose is the most common source of natural sugar. It is important because of its availability and low cost. The production process to create table sugar is simple.

Other products created from refined sugar include molasses, brown sugar, and icing sugar.


Molasses - image 95895895858
Wikipedia images adapted by Market Business News.

A container of molasses can contain up to 50 percent of sugar. But, molasses isn’t 100 percent unhealthy. Molasses also contains iron, calcium, and magnesium.

How is molasses produced?

Like table sugar, molasses is produced during the sugar refining process. The sugar beet is washed and then sliced into pieces. After slicing, the juice is extracted from the beet.

The juice from the sugar beet is evaporated and boiled. This is so the concentration becomes thick, and contains a high percentage of sugar. At this stage, molasses is produced.

According to Molassesforfood, molasses production starts with centrifugation. This separates the sugar from the molasses.

More Information

The sugar refining process begins with extracting the juice from either of the two plant. The root of the sugar beet contains a high concentration of sucrose. The juice extracted from the root is then processed into sugar.

Refined sugar is in many of the foods Americans eat on a daily basis. These include table sugar, honey, and molasses.

Interesting related article: “Sugars that make DNA and RNA come from comet ice.”