Sugar Basics

“Sugar” refers to sucrose, a carbohydrate found naturally in all fruits and vegetables, and extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar purification process produces a variety of sugars such as granulated sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, and liquid sugar, each with different characteristics that allows for a wide range of functions in different food products. On the other hand, "sugars" is an umbrella term that refers to all mono- and disaccharides found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and milk products, or added to foods and beverages.

Sucrose can be added to foods for its sweet taste as well as other sensory and functional properties. This section provides an overview of the terminology, the classification of carbohydrates including sugar and sugars, the purification process of sugar, the various functions sugar play in foods, and highlights common myths and facts about sugars.