Location: Commodity Utilization ResearchTitle: History of sugar and sweeteners
Submitted to: ACS Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2018
Publication Date: 6/11/2019
Citation: Eggleston, G. 2019. History of sugar and sweeteners. In: Orna, M.V., Eggleston, G., Bopp, A.F., editors. Chemistry's Role in Food Production and Sustainability: Past and Present. ACS Symposium Series. Washington, DC: ACS Publications. 1314:63-74. https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2019-1314.ch005.
Interpretive Summary: Commercial sugar (sucrose; beta-D-fructofuranosyl-2'1-alpha-D-glucopyranoside) is manufactured worldwide from either sugarcane or sugar beets. There are seven main phases in the history of sugar and sweeteners which are discussed herein: (1) 8000 BC to 0 AD. The extraction of juice from the sugarcane plant; domestication of sugarcane in tropical Southeast Asia. (2) Early Centuries AD. Invention of making sugar crystals from sugarcane juice in India; improvements in refining sugar. (3) 700 to 1500 AD. Spread of sugarcane cultivation and manufacture of cane sugar to the medieval Islamic world; first introduction of plantation farming with sugarcane. (4) 16th to 18th Centuries. Sugar cultivation and manufacture in the New World. (5) 19th Century. Production of sugar from sugar beets precipitated by the Napoleonic wars; introduction of mechanization and modern processing technology. (6) 20th Century. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other artificial sweeteners. (7) 21st Century. New natural sweeteners and other uses for sugar.
Technical Abstract: Commercial sugar (sucrose comprising of glucose bonded to fructose) is manufactured worldwide from either sugarcane or sugar beets. There are seven main phases in the history of sugar and sweeteners which are discussed. The last and current phase is the 21st Century, where there is a new and ever growing demand for new natural sweeteners and other uses for sugar.