Sugar cane is a tropical and subtropical grass. Its long stems grow tall and produce blade-like leaves and clusters of white flowers.
The juice of the cane is high in sucrose. It is processed on site into unrefined sugar, and in certain areas, the juice is boiled down to make a molasses-like brown sugar called jaggery.
Most of today’s refined sugar is produced from sugar cane. It was the first cultivated crop for sugar production.
Many other types of sugar exist - for example, fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar), but we usually commonly use the word ‘sugar’ to refer to sucrose.
Sugar was first widely used in India, whereas honey and dried fruits, such as figs and dates were the usual sweeteners elsewhere.
In India, sugar was thought to have near-magical healing properties and it was prescribed for longevity and fertility.
The Romans knew of sugar, but found it curious.
We use Fairtrade sugar in our solid sugar scrubs, Sugar Babe and Sugar Scrub. They exfoliate and stimulate the skin.