Depending on the number of simple sugar units contained, the saccharides are divided into different classes as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Sucrose, glucose, fructose and lactose are the most commonly known sugars. Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides and sucrose is a disaccharide. They have flavoring properties. Sugars are generally found in plant and animal products in nature. Sucrose is found in sugar beet and sugar cane.
The crystal sugar or white sugar, known as table sugar, is a sugar of sucrose origin and can only be obtained from sugar cane or sugar beet.
Fructose, on the other hand, is known as fruit sugar and is found the most in grapes at approximately 7%.
Lactose on the other hand is the sugar naturally found in milk. Breast milk also contains about 2% lactose.
The Concept of Starch and Starch Basedd Sugar
Starch, defined as complex carbohydrates, is a water-insoluble polysaccharide consisting of simple saccharide chains. Agricultural products containing starch include corn, potatoes, wheat and rice.
The Difference of Beet Sugar and Starch Based Sugar
Beet sugar does not require chemical processing like SBS. Beet sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is found naturally in beets. Beet sugar, in other words; table sugar, is produced by separating sucrose naturally found in beet from other substances in beet and purifying it. In summary, sucrose, which is found in sugar beet in nature, is taken from the beet and delivered to the table. The beet sugar is 99.9% pure sucrose.
The starch-based sugar contains glucose, fructose and high-carbon sugars. It is obtained by degradation of the starch found in corn and wheat. The starch-based sugar is obtained by partially converting the complex polysaccharides in starch into simple sugars by degradation with the help of enzymes/acids. Depending on the level of degradation, monosaccharides (glucose/fructose) and high sugars can be found in different proportions in the products. In the production of starch-based sugar, firstly, the starch from corn is separated as starch milk, and the starch-based sugars are obtained by partial decomposition of polysaccharides in starch milk. Today, SBS production with GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds is common. SBS is not sold in the market as crystal white sugar, it is used as a liquid in other industries, especially in the food industry.
How Can We Identify The Use Of Beet Sugar?
Distinguishing the types of sweeteners used in foodstuffs by means of flavor differences is often not possible. Thus, the "ingredients" or "composition" details on the foodstuffs are required to be examined.
The phrases such as “white sugar”, “100% made from sugar beet”, “beet sugar”, “sucrose”, “table sugar” indicate that beet sugar, that is, sucrose, is used in the foodstuff.
The Phrase “Sugar” Does Not Indicate Beet Sugar”
Since monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are all included in the definition of sugar in chemistry discipline, the phrase "sugar" in the ingredients section on the label may not always refer to beet sugar. Thus, it is necessary to look for the phrase "white sugar", "beet sugar" or "sucrose" as stipulated by the Turkish Food Codex.