How sugar is used
There’s more to sugar than meets the eye
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:
- It acts as a structural agent for products like meringues
- Is a fermentation agent – producing ethanol, carbon dioxide and water. In baking and brewing, fermentation is a critical process
- Preservation – sugar binds water molecules making them unavailable for microorganisms. This helps prevent the growth of moulds (bacteria)
- It decreases the freezing point of frozen products like ice creams, sorbets and frozen baked products
- Adds colour and flavour (browning) upon cooking
- In some countries, agave syrup and honey are both termed as "added sugars". At 21 calories per teaspoon, both are higher in calories than sugar, which is 16 calories.
- Both brown and white sugar is a form of sucrose and contain the same number of calories as four calories per gram.