Sucrose: When Sugar Turns Bitter

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Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 03:48 PM

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Sucrose: When Sugar Turns Bitter

Chocolate dough doughnuts, Banana Walnut Muffins, Ice-cream, Brownies, Custard; if you ask me, this list looks just about right. It has all of my favorite desserts and who could blame me? It’s no surprise that most of us have that one sweet food we always give into. Truth is sugar (sucrose) has been around all of our lives and will probably continue to be part of it and to be honest, that’s not bad. Or is it?

Sugar has been around for thousands of years. In 510 BC the Emperor Darius discovered sugar cane when he invaded India. Interestingly enough, he kept the secret to himself, and it wasn’t until 642 AD when Persia was invaded that the secret of where sugar came from and how it was made was revealed. As time elapsed, sugar was introduced to other places such as North Africa and Spain. Sugar was introduced to the Europeans in the 11th Century, and this “new spice” as they called it definitively had its popularity. Sugar was considered a luxury, people would pay “two shillings a pound”, which today would equal to about $100! In 1874, when Prime Minister Gladstone abolished tax, the prices of sugar finally decreased and ordinary citizen could finally afford to buy sugar (Sugar Knowledge International, 2012).

So far so good, we know sugar was discovered, kept secret, re-discovered, and introduced to the world. Now, moving on to the more scientific dish, what is sugar composed of? Picture this, one day as glucose (a simple sugar) was taking a stroll; he stumbled upon fructose (another simple sugar). They chatted for a while and realized how great of a bond they had; scientifically this bond is known as a glycosidic bond and whala! Sugar! Long story short, Sugar is made up of the bonding of two simple sugars (glucose and fructose). Its chemical structure is C12H22O11. (, 2012).

My mother always says, “Too much of something good, can be bad”. Sucrose is completely safe, but we can turn it into something...