“Sugar” refers to sucrose, a carbohydrate found naturally in most fruits and vegetables, and extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar purification process produces a large variety of sugars, each with different characteristics, which allows for functions in food products.

Sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beets is also added to foods for its sweet taste or many sensory and functional properties. This section provides an overview of the terminology, the classification of carbohydrates including sugars, and how sugar is purified. It highlights the various functions sugar play in foods, and uncovers the truth regarding common sugars myths.