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General information: Table sugar is pure sucrose derived from sugar beet or sugar cane. Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of -> glucose and -> fructose. It is produced by green plants in the process of photosynthesis. About 900 B.C., Arabs introduced the sugar cane into the mediterranean region. Much later, at the beginning of the 19th century, sugar beet was used to isolate sucrose. Sugar cane is grown mainly in the southern hemisphere, whereas sugar beets are grown in the cooler climates of the northern hemisphere.
Dietetics:The normal table sugar causes a slower rise of the blood sugar level than glucose. For diabetics: if you are well adjusted, the intake of up to 30 g/day is allowed. Tip: 4 sugar cubes (each 3 g) are equivalent to one bread unit (carbohydrate unit). One unit equals 10-12 g sucrose.
Chemistry: Sucrose belongs to the disaccharides, which each consist of two monosaccharides. Table sugar (sucrose) has the elemental formula C12H22O11. The yellowish raw sugar has to be cleaned of rests of syrup in order to become the pure white sugar used as foodstuff. Soluted in water, sucrose rotates polarized light clockwise (+65°).
Hydrolysed sucrose is called invert sugar and consists of glucose and fructose in equal amounts. This mixture rotates polarized light counter clockwise (-20°). Thus a conversion of the rotation direction can be observed after hydrolysis of sucrose (= inversion).
Usage: Lots of different table sugars consist mainly of pure sucrose (examples are given below).

  • Brown Sugar: contains rests of syrup (molasses) which causes the colour.
  • Demerara Sugar: special raw cane sugar with a large grain. Its colour is pale to golden yellow, due to the sticking rest of sugar-cane molasses; used in home baking and in sweetening coffee and tea.
  • Preserving Sugar: coarse-grained, refined pure sugar, used to sterilise fruits and vegetables.
  • Farin: soft brown sugar coloured via addition of molasses.
  • Gelling Sugar: pectinized crystal sugar, contains pectin from apples or quinces; used for jams and jellies.
  • Decoration Sugar: decorative, pearl or sanding sugar bright crystals, medium size, used to decorate pastries.
  • Rock Sugar (Rock Candy): large sugar crystals (brown or white), made by slow crystallising from pure sugar solution. Brown rock candy contains caramelised sugar.
  • Caramel: brown syrup-like mass with typical caramel taste, made by heating refined sugar.
  • Icing Sugar: very finely ground crystals with a touch of starch to prevent lumps, excellent for icings and fondants.
  • Raw Cane Sugar: not refined cane sugar derived fom sugar cane molasses by centrifugation.
  • Cane Sugar: refined sugar from sugarcane, almost pure sucrose.
  • Lump Sugar (Sugar Cubes): lumps of sugar crystals glued together with a sugar syrup.