Chief among carbohydrates are the sugars and starches. These contain the three elements, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and, in common with other carbohydrates, furnish heat and energy to the body. Their chemical formulae are somewhat different. Glucose, grape sugar, and levulose, or fruit sugar, have six atoms of carbon, twelve atoms of hydrogen, and six atoms of oxygen. Cane sugar and milk sugar have each twelve atoms of carbon, twenty-two atoms of hydrogen, and eleven atoms of oxygen. The starches have six atoms of carbon, ten atoms of hydrogen, and six atoms of oxygen. Cane sugar is that derived from juices of plants; the sugar cane and sugar beet being the principal sources of this variety. The sugar beet furnishes about two-thirds of the sugar of commerce, and the sugar cane a little more than one-third. The sugar from either one of these two sources is called "cane sugar," or, more properly, "sucrose."
Sugar Cane and Sugar Beets
U. S. Dept. Agr., Farmers' Bulletin No. 93, makes the following statement: "By no chemical test can pure crystallized saccharose or cane sugar from the different sources be distinguished. It is often asserted that beet sugar has less sweetening power, or that fruits preserved with it do not keep so well, but this can only be true of specimens that have been imperfectly purified. Methods of refining raw sugar have been so improved in the last few years that it may be truly said that few food sub-stances are so nearly pure chemically as the best granulated or lump sugar.
"'Loaf sugar is,' Blythe says, 'as a rule, chemically pure. It is probably, indeed, the purest of all substances in commerce. The only sugars that may be impure are the raw sugars.'"
Cane sugar is so cheap at present that it is seldom adulterated. Low-priced sugars showing an almost white color often contain a very large per cent, of water, owing to the way they are treated in the vacuum pan. More sweetening can usually be bought for a given sum in the higher-priced, pure-white sugars, because they are drier.
Maple sugar, on account of its peculiar and pleasant flavor, is very much higher in price than the same amount of saccharine matter in common sugar. This leads to the belief that it is adulterated, but since it is one of the group of cane sugars, it is difficult to detect adulteration. It is generally believed, however, that a large part of the maple sugar of commerce is made from glucose, with enough maple sugar added to give to it the maple flavor. This flavor is also imparted to syrups by the use of an extract of hickory bark.
The use of glucose as an adulteration has several advantages over preparations of bark mixtures. It is cheap, wholesome, and gives syrup a good body and a light color. No syrup should contain glucose unless distinctly so marked. Glucose has a much lower sweetening power than cane sugar. The glucose of commerce is largely a by-product from the starch manufactories. A glucose food is very similar to a starch food partially digested. Glucose is very largely used in the adulteration of honey. Extracted honey may be pure, or it may be glucose with just enough of the genuine article to disguise it, so far as sight and taste can discover, but by chemical means any adulteration can easily be detected. Cane sugar is not extensively employed to adulterate honey, because it tends to crystallize readily.
*"White and yellow sugar usually receives a special treatment, either in the vacuum pan or the centrifugal, in order to prevent a gray or dead appearance. In the case of white sugar, blue ultramarine is the substance usually employed for this purpose. The coloring matter is suspended in water, and is applied as a final wash in the centrifugal immediately before stopping the machine. This process is termed 'bluing.' A very small amount of the color adheres to the crystals, giving the sugar a whiter and brighter appearance. Some sugar makers suspend a small amount of ultramarine in the water, and drain it into the vacuum pan a few minutes before the strike is finished. In addition to this treatment in the pan, the sugar is also blued in the centrifugal. It is not unusual to find sugars which have been excessively blued, and which, on solution, yield a blue syrup. Fortunately ultramarine is not poisonous, and no injury to health can result from its use."
*U. S. Dept. Agr., Division of Chemistry, Bulletin No. 13.
Sorghum Plant. The Coloring of Sugar