Q1: Is sugar good for health?
A: Yes, of course, it is good for health.
It has food value and is as good as any other carbohydrate.
When consumed, carbohydrate food such as sugar is partially
converted into glucose. Glucose is then absorbed into the
bloodstream thereby producing energy. It is a myth that
sugar intake causes diabetes. Diabetes occurs on account of
the inability of the pancreas to manufacture sufficient
insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the
availability of glucose to the body cells. However diabetes
after having surfaced gets aggravated with intake of sugar,
for that matter intake of any carbohydrate would worsen
diabetes. Normally sugar produces energy in the human body.
Q2: How is sugar graded?
A: Sugar is graded according to its
colour and according to the size of its granules.
Internationally, ICUMSA is the yardstick with which quality
of sugar is judged. Colour of the sugar and the lustre of
sugar are the predominant factors in ICUMSA rating. As per
Indian standards based on the colour and lustre of sugar the
same is assigned numbers viz. 29, 30 and 31. The lower the
number inferior or duller the colour of sugar and vice
versa. On the basis of granule size sugar is again
classified as S, M or L meaning small, medium and large
Q3: Is brown sugar the
dangerous narcotic drug a derivative or spin off regular
A: There is no relation whatsoever
between brown sugar and white sugar. Brown sugar, smack is a
dangerous narcotic drug used for intoxication. The drug
assumes its name because of its colour, which is dark brown.
It tastes bitter and is not sweet. The name brown sugar is a
misnomer. There is nothing sugary about brown sugar.
Q4: What is Khandasari sugar?
A: Regular sugar or white crystal sugar
is manufactured in sugar mill, where vacuum pans are used
for crystallizing and granulating the sugar syrup. The sugar
granules though brittle are reasonably hard and cannot be
crushed easily. Manufacture of Khandasari sugar is a
relatively simple process of manufacture where open pans are
used. The Khandasari sugar is hardly brittle and can be
easily crushed in to powdery form. The process of removal of
impurities in Khandasari sugar is also not perfected.
The white crystal sugar manufactured in sugar mills is
therefore far more superior in quality as compared to
Khandasari sugar manufactured in Khandasari mills.
Q5: Has the Indian consumerism
matured enough to prefer sugar cubes or branded sugar to
A: The elite of select metropolitan towns
have in fact shown preference to sugar cubes and branded
sugar. However they constitute a minuscule percentage of the
total population and the sugar thus consumed constitutes a
negligible percentage of the sugar consumed in the country.
The vagaries of Indian Excise laws and the exorbitant cost
of packing the sugar for it being sold as a branded product
render the branding of sugar very expensive phenomenon. The
price elasticity of demand of sugar continues to be very
high in India. Smallest increase in the price of sugar
causes widespread clamour. However as in case of salt a day
may come when the Indian consumers will also demand sugar by
quoting their brand names. Brand loyalty on date is
virtually non-existent. Niche market for sugar is yet a far
cry and we do not yet have a breed of connoisseurs of sugar.
Simplification of excise laws is a first mandatory step in
development of branded market for sugar.
Q6: Why does the price of
sugar fluctuate so erratically?
A: Sugar is cyclic industry and the
production of sugar oscillates widely year after year. The
rule of arithmetic progression is followed in case of growth
in demand and consumption of sugar which is not so in case
of production of sugar. Depending on the production of sugar
in the country as also the production of sugar worldwide,
there are wide swings in the prices of sugar. The price of
sugar is inversely proportional to the production of sugar.
In the short run the prices of sugar also vary depending on
the release of sugar in to the sugar market. Sale of sugar
in India is regulated by the release mechanism directed by
the Government. Market sentiments triggered by baseless
rumours also have a significant impact on the sugar prices
in the short term.
Q7: Is imported sugar less
sweeter when compared to domestic sugar?
A: Not really, all though sugar in many
other countries is manufactured with sugar beet as the raw
material. Sugar cane is the raw material for manufacture of
sugar in India. Sucrose content in sugarcane is much higher
when compared to the sucrose content in sugar beet. However
all sugars conform to internationally accepted quality
standards and are no different from one another.