Sugars and Starches

  • Ernest R. Vieira
Part of the Food Science Texts Series book series (FSTS)


Sugar, the common name for sucrose, is extracted and refined from sugar cane and sugar beets. There are many substances chemically classified as sugars, and when these are referred to, they are always used with a qualifier such as in milk sugar (lactose), corn sugar (dextrose), and malt sugar (maltose). When the word sugar is used without a qualifier, it generally refers to the common sweetener (sucrose). Other sugars have varying degrees of sweetness relative to sucrose, and some sugars differ from sucrose in that they lend varying degrees of bitterness whereas sucrose imparts only a sweet taste. Other important sources of sucrose include palm and maple trees and fruits. Chemically, and in every other way, cane sugar and beet sugar are the same. In addition to providing energy for the body and sweetness to foods, sugar performs numerous other roles in the food industry. It is used in baked products where it contributes to the desirable texture of baked goods, and it stabilizes the foam of beaten egg whites. When it caramelizes, it imparts a unique, desirable color and flavor to surfaces of pastries and cakes. It is used in ice cream and other dairy products, in beverages, and in other types of food; it is used in the home, in institutions, and in restaurants for foods and beverages. Sugar is also used in some nonfood products such as pet food and other animal feeds and baits. Sucrose (C12H22O11) is the most important of the naturally occurring disaccharides. It may be hydrolyzed, yielding glucose (dextrose) and fructose (levulose), both six-carbon sugars.


Sugar Cane Sugar Beet Calcium Hydroxide Cane Sugar Corn Syrup 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest R. Vieira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Culinary ArtsEssex Agricultural and Technical InstituteHathorneUSA

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