A quick historical past of sugar – Hemant R Joshi


At present, sugar is a ubiquitous substance. The complete world craves for it. However this was not all the time the case. The unfold of sugar is an enchanting examine for a way merchandise that had been as soon as not even mandatory have grow to be indispensable at present.

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Right here’s a quick historical past of the way it occurred –

Some sources recommend cane sugar originated in India, whereas others state that it originated in New Guinea. Initially, canes had been loved simply by chewing into them, however Indians began refining sugar from canes within the 4th century BC. 

Quickly after, they began mixing sugar with different meals comparable to milk, rice, and so on. to create puddings and different sweets. 

300 BC – 1000 AD: Western explorers who got here to India began taking it westwards, finding out sugar as a topic for medicinal use to deal with intestinal and kidney-related ailments. On the identical time, sugar additionally began getting domesticated within the East, as Chinese language imperials took their learnings again.

By 650 AD, because the Arabs began raiding Persia, India and the Mediterranean, they began gathering information about Sugar, and used it not just for medicinal functions, but additionally as a delicacy for the royalty.

1100 AD: European troopers introduced Sugar from their conquests to Jerusalem, thus kicking off sugar’s popularization in Europe. However Sugar was nonetheless very costly by 1300 AD.

1500: The actual “value discount” of sugar started with the Spanish colonization of Canary Islands round, once they began mass producing sugarcane on the archipelago. Due to this, Spain dominated the European sugar market. The portuguese had been quick to comply with.

1500: Their discovery of Brazil results in sugar plantations in Brazil. With the speedy advances they made in expertise, Brazil quickly dominated the world sugar trade!

However round this time, the darkish historical past of sugar started

Early 1600s: Due to the speedy enlargement of Sugar plantations in South America, exporting slaves to plantations in South America started. 

Costs continued to fall. Demand continued to rise.

1900s: Costs fell a lot that producers within the US began to collaborate to be able to improve costs. Round this time, the event of beet-extracted sugar, versus cane sugar, continued to rise within the US.

The Indian authorities incentivized the manufacturing of sugar by defending the trade from overseas firms. This continued properly after its Independence, as sugarcane manufacturing exploded in Northern India.

2000s: India turned the most important producer of sugar merchandise (together with gur, khandsari), adopted by Brazil.

What began as a medicinal product to alleviate kidneys and intestinal irritation grew right into a premium product, then right into a commodity that anybody may eat, thus resulting in is overuse.

At present, we’re grappling with the ill-effects of over-consumption of Sugar.




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