Sugar is a food ingredient that has complemented the feeling of satisfaction and happiness of mankind for centuries, regardless of gender, age or membership in a particular social group.
It can be produced from sugar cane or sugar beet. The oldest data on the existence and production of sugar are related to sugar cane, which is an herbaceous plant native to Asia. Sugar cane was first processed by Indians and Persians in 500 A.D., then it started to be appreciated by the Arabs who spread it throughout the Meditarranean and then around 1000 A.D. it began to be used in Northern Europe. The first Europeans who knew about the sugar cane were the Crusaders, while in 1200 Venice became the major center for resale in the west. Christopher Columbus exported sugar cane to America and since then, it has been produced on many Caribbean islands colonized by the Spanish and the Portuguese. As major colonial powers, the English, the French and the Dutch began to control and develop this lucrative and profitable business.
One of the oldest food ingredients of all time was at that time definitely very expensive and a privilege of the rich and powerful, but is now accessible to everyone thanks to the development of production processes that made the production cheaper and allowed everyone to enjoy and benefit from its precious quality. It was revealed only in 1700 that sugar beet, also known by the ancient Babylonians, contains sugar. Napoleon Bonaparte launched intensive cultivation of sugar beet in Europe which was improved through careful selection of plants around 1850. So, the period of absolute domination of sugar cane ended and started the period of „competition” between the two cultures and as a result, the division between continents who have industrial production of the same: the Old and the New Continent.
Of all known plants, the highest concentration of sugar can be found in sugar beet and sugar cane. During the processing procedures of these two cultures we can obtain foodstuff that contain even 99.95 % sucrose.
Sucrose from sugar beet and sugar cane is not just similar but identical to sucrose present in fruits and vegetables.
In every diet that must not have to be hypocalorical, it is important to take balanced amounts and eat a wide variety of foods. Carbohydrates, such as sugar, contribute to maintenance of a balanced diet. It’s useful to know that by consuming 1 g of sugar, our body takes in less energy than by consuming fat or alcohol.
More precisely, a gram of sugar contains only 4 calories unlike fat or alcohol which contain 9 and 7 calories. The minimum recommended amount of simple sugars our body needs to take in is 50-75 g/day. It is known that 100 g of fruit contains 3 to 15 g of sucrose, depending on the type of fruit, while a teaspoon of sugar or one cup of milk contain 5 g. These are some brief information about the benefits and proper intake of sugar.
In recent years, an expansion of myths and misinformation is present about sugar. However, scientists and dietologists confirm that sugar is not the cause of diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity or eating disorders. It is certainly important to consume it as well as other foods in balanced and appropriate amounts according to the physiological needs of the organism.
Obesity or overweight is a result of conflict between the energy needs of the organism and the excessive intake of food, namely when people eat a lot more calories than they actually burn. If this is followed by a passive lifestyle that does not allow to burn excess calories, the risk of obesity increases. Recent scientific studies confirm that a diet low in fat but rich in carbohydrates and sugars, causes weight loss.
There is no tight correlation between dental caries and sugar. Caries is caused by a number of factors, including genetics, meal frequency and oral hygiene. Important factors that can cause caries are the quantity and composition of saliva. Consumption of acidic substances can cause caries. There are foods that contain a high concentration of these substances such as pears, figs, compotes, pickled vegetables, citrus fruits, egg yolk, asparagus, walnuts and pineapple. All foods have a fermentation time during which they can cause caries, so it is important to brush your teeth in a timely manner after eating food and drinking drinks.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs as a result of malfunctioning of the pancreas – the organ that produces insulin which prevents the blood sugar level from rising too high. In other words, diabetes is a disorder of the body’s ability to normally transform the blood sugar into energy. Present research studies show that people with diabetes can take sugars in a balanced dose in different meals where calories are rationally distributed, noting that there is no connection between sugar and diabetes.
The word “refined” is wrongly interpreted especially when it comes to sugar. Over the years this word has come to mean “over-processed and manipulated”. In fact the word “refined” means “purified”. By the refining process, the sucrose is being removed from plant material without bleaching and chemical manipulation.
Sugar, scientifically known as sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose and belongs to the category of simple sugars. In nature it can be found in fruits and vegetables. Whatever you call it what matters is that it is a great friend of our health! How could we not praise this truly indispensable ingredient when our body draws from it all the energy needed for vital, physical and mental functions. The brain receives energy only from glucose which is its only fuel: in order to continuously supply our minds we need 100-120 g of glucose daily, and therefore it is not recommended to undergo a strict diet.
Sugar has a special anti-stress effect because it stimulates the production of endorphin, the hormone that has a useful relaxing power. Who among us has never heard of craving for sweets to relieve melancholy? Sugars and sweets increase serotonin levels in the blood and eliminate sadness. It is also a valuable aid in sports: simple sugars are actually rapidly adopted and they supply the cells with energy which is ready for immediate use.
Sugar is an important source of energy for children and youth, it is able to solve and prevent lack of attention and concentration at school and during various afternoon activities. It is ideal in times of intense intellectual activity, such as preparations for exams, graduate thesis and dissertations or something similar. In any case, let’s not forget that sugar satisfies our primal desire for “sweet” and strengthens the sense of taste and spirit.
The striving of mankind for a healthy diet resulted in a return to the classical method of food production. Today, when the human body is attacked by synthetic medicines and food products, in which residues of antibiotics, pesticides and heavy metals can be found, people need to escape to nature and take everything that’s natural. As by other foods, so in the category of table sugars, the natural brown sugar Notadolce has appeared in the market.
During the technological process, brown sugar is obtained from the brown syrup by crystallization. Given the results of recent studies of sugar beet molasses, which is the end product of the technological process of white table sugar production, we can say that the great interest for brown sugar is not unfounded.
Proteins, which can be found in molasses, as well as those from sugar beet, belong to the group of relatively low molecular macromolecules, which get easily hydrolized in acidic media or under the effect of proteolytic enzymes – protease, thereby releasing amino acids.
Another important nitrogenous substance can be regularly found in molasses, and that’s betaine. It easily dissolves in water and is particularly resistant to chemical agents and enzymes. It does not get modified in the digestive tract and as a strong organic base it has the property to bind the hydrochloric acid, which can have a positive impact on reducing stomach acid. The group of other nitrogenous compounds in a total quantity of 1.5 % consists of compound types such as purine bases, pyrimidines and nucleosides which are the building blocks of nucleic acids.
Organske baze u količinama od 0,05 do 0,015 % kao što su: holin, alantoin, purin, citozin, guanozin i citidin mogu uticati na održavanje kiselinsko-bazne ravnoteže u ljudskom organizmu. Od mineralnih materija u melasi najvažniju ulogu igraju joni K (kalijuma) i Na (natrijuma) u odnosu 4:1. U prisustvu relativno velike količine rastvorenog K2CO3 (oko 7, 2 g/ 100 g melase) u gotovo neutralnoj sredini izuzetno povoljno deluje na regulisanje krvnog pritiska kod ljudi, ako se ona upotrebi kao hrana i prirodni lek u optimalno doziranim količinama. Organic bases in quantities from 0.05 to 0.015 % such as: choline, allantoin, purine, cytosine, guanosine and cytidine may affect the maintenance of acid-base balance in the human oganism. Of the mineral matter in molasses, ions of K (potassium) and Na (sodium) play a crucial role in a ratio of 4:1. In the presence of relatively large amount of dissolved K2CO3 (about 7.2 g/100 g of molasses) in a nearly neutral media, it has an extremely beneficial effect on the regulation of blood pressure in humans, if used as food and natural medicine in optimally dosed amounts.
Najzad, treba spomenuti i vitamine, koji su prisutni u količni od oko 1,5% računato na melasu sa 83,5 % suve materije. Od njih su dokazani: vitamini grupe B, pantotenska kiselina, nikotinamid, folna kiselina i biotin. Finally, we should also mention the vitamins which are present in the quantity of about 1.5 % calculated on molasses containing 83.5 % of dry matter. It is proven that molasses contains the following of them: vitamins of the B group, pantothenic acid, nicotinamide, folic acid and biotin.
In the technological process of sugar production, crystals that are formed from the brown syrup contain on their surfaces as well as within the crystal network certain amounts of molasses substance, so it can be said that brown sugar is more natural and healthier than white table sugar. Because of its exceptionally pleasant taste and natural brown color, it can be successfully used for sweetening coffee, tea, cocktails and preparation of different types of cakes and pastries.