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- Lavleen Kaur Kapoor
Sugar is equally important as salt. Technically sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose characterized by a sweet flavor. In food sugar almost exclusively refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined from of primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation but are usually known by more specific names as glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, high fructose com syrup etc.
All energy stored in food is derived originally from the sun and it is made by green plant life. The sun's energy acts upon the green chemical "chlorophyll" in the leaves of plants to produce sugars and Starches from the carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere and the water from the roots by a process known as Photosynthesis .These carbohydrates (starches and sugar) acts as a plants food and energy supply. The Energy need of human body is largely dependent on the carbohydrates that are derived from plants. Starches provide the large part of our carbohydrate needs. Sugar plays an important role in human body.
Sugar is mainly divided into three major categories:
1.White sugar- White sugar is the sugar which has been refined and washed so that it has a white appearance and no molasses flavor. The flavor of white sugar is relatively neutral, making it a popular choice for baking and sweetening drinks. It includes Fruit sugar, Bakers special sugar Superfine, ultrafine or bar sugar, Confectioners or powered sugar, Coarse sugar, Sanding sugar
2.Brown sugar- Brown sugar gets its distinctive color and flavor from the presence of molasses. It may be either unrefined or partially refined, so that it naturally retains molasses, or it may be produced by adding molasses to refined white sugar
3.Liquid sugar- Liquid sugar is a product that is created using a mixture of a liquid such as water mixed with white or brown sugar. There are commercially produced liquid sugar products available for use in the home as well as in restaurants.
Sucrose is a natural and economical sweetener. It is the most versatile of all the sweeteners, performing many useful functions in a range of foods - As a sweetener it is use as a preservative to enhance the flavor of foods. It also provides bulk and texture in ice cream, custard, baked goods and confectionary. As a food for yeast in baking and preparing beer and cider, it contributes to crust colour and flavor etc.
Apart from sugar being a cheapest instant source of energy, It has several medical Values For example sugar is used for oral rehydration, it is use to heal wounds as it helps in wiping out infections and sugar is best carrier of Vitamine A and mineral which are very essential for human body.
Traditional sweeteners Gur & Khandsari are consumed mostly by the rural population in India. In the early 1930’s nearly 2/3rd of sugarcane production was utilized for production of sweeteners, Gur & Khandsari. With the passage of time, with better standard of living the sweetener demand has shifted to white sugar. Following are steps for sugar production:
Extracting juice by pressing sugarcane
- Boiling the juice to obtain crystals
- Creating raw sugar by spinning crystals in extractors
- Taking raw sugar to a refinery for the process of filtering and washing to discard remaining non-sugar elements and hue
- Crystallizing and drying sugar
- Packaging the ready sugar
The discovery of sugar from sugarcane has originated in New Guinea, and from routes to Southeast Asia it reached to India. Sugar is produced from Sugar Cane & Sugar Beet, App. 70% sugar is produced from Sugar Cane & 30% produced from Sugar beet. Sugarcane is grown in semi-tropical region; Beet is grown in temperate climate. Sugar Industry is a cyclical in nature. Ethanol is by-product of sugar, can be used as a bio fuel alternative to gasoline, and is widely used in cars in Brazil. Begasse is also a by-product of Sugar can be used as a bio fuel and as a renewable resource in manufacture of pulp and paper products and building materials and it is also be used as a renewable energy for power generation.
Talking about sugar industry in India, it is the second largest agro-based industry next to textiles in India. It is said that the first sugar plant in India was established by the French people at Orissa in 1824. But authentically the advent of modern sugar processing began in 1930 with grant to tariff protection to the Indian sugar industry. By 1931-32 there were 31 sugar factories in India.
Indian has been known as the original home of sugarcane and sugar. In India, sugarcane is the key raw material for the production of Sugar. India is the second largest producer of sugarcane next to Brazil. Presently, about 4 million hectares of lands is under sugarcane cultivation with an average yield 70 tonnes per hectare. India is the largest single producer of sugar including traditional cane sugar sweeteners, khandsari and Gur equivalent to 26 million tonnes raw value followed by Brazil in the second place at 18.5 million tonnes. Even in respect of white crystal sugar, India has ranked No.1 position in 7 out of last 10 years. At present there are total 566 numbers of sugar mills in India. Uttar Pradesh sugar industry is one of the largest sugar industries in India.
Sugar is necessary ingredient in many products. The sugar industry’s contribution, to the Indian economy is presently enormous with its total turnover of over Rupees Fifty five thousand crores per year. The Indian sugar industry is amongst the major tax contributor to the government. Sugar industry is one of the largest employment provider industries in India.
Indian sugar industry is one of the main drivers of the country's rural economy supporting its agricultural growth. Over 7.5 per cent of the rural population of India is directly or indirectly dependent on the sugar industry. Over fifty million sugarcane farmers and their dependents and a large mass of agricultural laborers are involved in sugarcane cultivation, harvesting and ancillary activity. It is worth mentioning that the industry employs over five lakh skilled and unskilled workers mainly from the rural areas.
Indian is also a largest consumer of sugar which leads to the shortage of sugar. Sugar is widely use drinks, ice creams which lead to its growth. But use of old technology for its production is also is the main obstruction for its development. Indian agriculture mainly depends on monsoon. So monsoon conditions also affect sugarcane production which leads to its low production sometime.
In Indian, most of sugar mills are controlled by private rich individuals/industrialists or by politicians. They owned sugarcane farms and also purchase sugarcane from small farmers. Their hold in sugar industry affects its growth.
Government of India has taken following policy to boost the Sugar industry:
- Government declared the new policy on August 20, 1998 with regards to licenses for new factories, which shows that there will be no sugar factory in a radius of 15 km.
- Setting up of Indian Institute of Sugar Technology at Kanpur is meant for improving efficiency in the industry.
- In the year 1982, the sugar development fund was set up with a view to avail loans for modernization of the industry.
There are ample job opportunities in sugar industry. The manufacture of sugar requires the application of different technologies. It involves several biochemical processes. Study of sugar technology includes study of full knowledge about fermentation, boiling and sugar chemistry. One has to be a graduate in pure science in order to have degree in sugar technology.
The courses offered by some of the universities in India are sugar technology, industrial fermentation and alcohol technology, sugar instrumentation technology, environmental science, Pulp and paper technology, sugar boiling certificate. Sugar technologists can be employed in sugar factories, alcoholic or non- alcoholic production plants or sugar research labs. IFFCO and National Federation of Co-Operative Sugar Factories are the major recruiters in the sugar industry. are sugar technology, industrial fermentation and alcohol technology, sugar instrumentation technology, environmental science, Pulp and paper technology, sugar boiling certificate. Sugar technologists can be employed in sugar factories, alcoholic or non- alcoholic production plants or sugar research labs. IFFCO and National Federation of Co-Operative Sugar Factories are the major recruiters in the sugar industry.
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