A close-up view of raw sugar.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
From the way we consume sugar in our diet these days, one might think that it is a major food group. It is very difficult to find processed food to which some kind of sugar has not been added.Mankind has obviously been genetically encoded with a sweet tooth, because from the dawn of time we have been indulging. The earliest sweeteners were not what we called “table sugar” or sucrose – sugar that is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets – but rather honey from dates or bees. The granular table sugar refining process was perfected around the fifth century CE in India, and it was only after Columbus discovered the Americas that sugar became a major industry and a common ingredient in our kitchens.