Making Sense Of Sugar

How sugar is used

There’s more to sugar than meets the eye

There’s a lot more to sugar than putting a teaspoonful in your cup of tea or sprinkling it over your bowl of strawberries. A range of different characteristics make sugar ideal for all kinds of food preparation. From improving the taste of food, sugar is also used to provide structure, texture, and also acts as a natural preservative.

In cooking sugar has a number of important functions and uses. A few everyday uses include:

  1. Acts as a structural agent for products like meringues
  2. Is a fermentation agent – works with yeast to help dough rise and make wine
  3. Helps to preserve jellies and jams
  4. Adds flavour to all sorts of food and drinks
  5. Adds colour and flavour (browning) upon cooking


  • A spoonful of sugar in your vase can help flowers live longer
  • Our ancestors used to starch their petticoats with sugar
  • Sugar has been used to preserve ancient timbers