• April 24, 2024
  • Updated 12:20 pm

Fascinating Facts about Sugarcane

Fascinating Facts about Sugarcane

Did you know that every single part of the harvested sugarcane is used? Also, sugarcane can provide its own processing energy! Interesting, isn’t it? Let us find out more about sugarcane. 

What is Sugarcane?

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is a tall plant whose cane can reach a height of two to six metres. This tropical plant has a jointed, strong, fibrous stalk which stores carbohydrates in the form of different sugars. 

Sugarcane belongs to the Poaceae family, which has members like rice, sorghum, wheat, etc. A well-drained loamy soil with a pH ranging between 6.5 and 7.5 and a sufficient supply of nutrients with no compaction between soil particles are said to be ideal factors for the production of sugarcane. 

Through the process of photosynthesis, sugar is synthesised in the leaves and stored as juice in the stalks. Just like how animals store fat, sugarcane, too, stores energy, which it does not require. The added energy is the sweet juice which is found on the stalk of the plants. When it ripens, the sugarcane stalks are harvested, and juice is extracted and processed into raw sugar crystals. 

Facts about Sugarcane You Must Know

Fact #1

Sugar occurs in the largest quantities in sugarcane and sugar beets, from which it is segregated to be used commercially. 

Fact #2

“Sugarcane” – the term is a combination of two words – sugar derived from Sanskrit śarkarā which means “candied or ground sugar”, ultimately came to English sugar from Persian shakar, then French sucre (12th-century). “Cane” started to get associated with it as the crop was cultivated on plantations in the Caribbean. It has a Hebrew origin, meaning “stalk” or “reed”. 

Fact #3

On October 9, 1961, Roy Wallace (Giru, Australia) cut the most sugarcane by hand in a span of 8 hours, weighing 50 tonnes. 

Fact #4

Sugarcane is a 100% natural drink, and it has no fats. It contains approximately 30 grams of natural sugar.

Fact #5

Christopher Columbus, in 1493, took sugarcane to the Caribbean to plant it there and, hence, the widespread cultivation of sugarcane. 

Fact #6

Most of the sugarcane in the world is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. More than 75% of the sugar in the world is derived from sugarcane.

Fact #7

Sugar that gets extracted from sugarcane juice contains only 15 calories.

Fact #8

A single sugarcane plant can take anywhere between 9 to 24 months to mature based on climatic conditions. It can grow up to a height of 30 feet.

Fact #9

In India, by 400 B.C., various methods to manufacture sugar from sugarcane had developed. Then began the trading of sugar, which was deemed to be an expensive and luxurious spice from India. 

Fact #10

Even till the late 19th century, sugar was bought in loaves that had to be cut with the help of implements referred to as sugar nips. 

Fact #11

It was in the nineteenth century that sugar cubes were produced. Moravian Jakub Kryštof Rad (Dačice), director of a sugar company, apparently is said to be the first innovator of a process to produce sugar in the form of a cube. 

These were some interesting facts about sugarcane. The next suggested topic to explore in detail would be examples of pulses. Subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube channel for video explanations on different concepts.

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