What you need to know about sugar

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about our sugar. Can’t find the answer you were looking for? Do not hesitate to contact us!

Sugar is a completely natural product, extracted from sugar beets or sugar cane.

Beets, consisting of green foliage and an underground root, grow in the summer, producing sugar in the leaves and storing it in the root. The plant transforms air, water and sunlight into sugar through the process of photosynthesis. After harvesting in autumn, sugar is extracted from the root.

Cane sugar is extracted from the sugar cane plant. To obtain raw cane sugar, the leaves are removed from the stem of the plant, which is then chopped and macerated in water to obtain a juice (called molasses) which, after boiling, is crystallised and clarified. Sugar cane takes 12 months to fully mature, although there are exceptions: in some areas it may take up to 24 months and in others only 6 months. The harvest period varies according to the area of production.

Sugar, which is widely used in confectionery, baked goods, soft drinks, ice cream and other foods, not only gives them sweetness, but also improves their texture, taste and shelf life. As well as intensifying the taste of fruit and vegetables, it acts as a preservative in jams and other foods, keeps ice cream soft, allows chocolate to melt in the mouth, keeps biscuits fresh by absorbing moisture and softens the dough of baked goods; it also provides energy, which is essential for our daily activities. Like all carbohydrates, it provides 4 kcal of energy per gram.

Over the centuries, attempts have been made to produce sugar from a number of plants, including maple trees, grapes, wheat, maize, potatoes, walnuts, cabbage, palm trees and liquorice, but the only current viable alternative to beet for sugar production is sugar cane. Both types of sugar have the same value and nutritional properties and differ only in the way they are cultivated; sugar cane grows in tropical and subtropical climates, while sugar beet is grown in temperate climates, such as in the Netherlands.