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Sugar - Referat


Most people like sugar because of the sweetness and energy.
Nearly every year 120 million tonnes of sugar is produced in 121 countries of the world. 70% of sugar is produced from sugar cane and the other 30% is produced from sugar beet. Exactly Australia produced 5,5 million tonnes of sugar, Brazil 14,5 million tonnes, the EU about 18 million tonnes, India 14 million tonnes, South Africa 2.5 million tonnes, Thailand 6 million tonnes and last but not least the USA with 6,5 million tonnes.

Sugar cane

Sugar cane grows in tropical areas of Brazil, Cuba, India, China, Australia, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand and the USA. It’s a tropical grass, which likes strong sunlight and lots of rain for good growing. Sugar cane can grow up to 5 metres tall and 5 centimetres thick. It looks like bamboo and the Latin name is “Saccharum officinarum”

Sugar Beet

The rest of the sugar comes from sugar beets, which is a vegetable. It grows in the colder climates of Europe, the USA, Canada, China and Japan. This vegetable is in the floor, like a potato and the sugar stored in the thick root. In the top of the sugar beet, there isn’t sugar, so it can be used for animal food.

What we call sugar, the chemist knows as “sucrose” and the formula for this is C 12 H 22 O 11

The process when plants make sugar is called photosynthesis, in this way the plants also make chlorophyll, a green substance.


This process is the syntesis of glucose from sunlight, carbon dioxid (Kohlendioxyd) and water with oxygen (Sauerstoff) as a waste product. It is the most important biochemical process known, because nearly all life depends on it. It is an extremely complex process, comprised of many biochemical ractions.
Photosynthesis uses the energy of light to make the sugar. A simple general equation for photosynthesis:

6 CO2 + 12 H2O + photons → C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

carbon dioxide + water + light energy
= result =
glucose + oxygen + water

History of sugar

Historically, sugar was only produced from sugar cane and only a little. In the past sugar was not as white as the sugar today, it was light brown and a great luxury.

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