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Sweet as Sugar Beet

The world loves sugar. It provides the essential sweetness element to so many things that we eat and consume that it’s hard to imagine what we used in the UK before it (Honey actually, but that’s another story). Sugar comes from two sources Cane and Beet. We’re going to look at the Beet side as this can be, and is, grown in the UK to great success. A quick word of caution if you are going to have a lot of sugar you’re going to need a good Dentist especially one who uses respected Dental Equipment suppliers such as the company here https://www.photonsurgicalsystems.co.uk/. What exactly is Sugar beet?

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As the name suggests Sugar beet is grown below ground and looks like a Beetroot. It wasn’t until after the first world war that sugar beet began to be grown in any considerable amount in the UK. The reason for that was that until then it was easier and cheaper to import Sugar cane, but supplies were disrupted and it was expensive to ship it anyway. Cane was an example of early globalisation as the cane was produced in warmer climates primary through, before being banned, slave labour in Africa and the Caribbean islands.  The landscape of the East of England, namely Suffolk and Norfolk, provide the right growing soil for the production of Sugar Beet. It is possible to see fields stretching as far as the eye can see throughout the landscape as the beet requires lots of space and needs to have deep roots. Therefore, a lot of deep ploughing in needed. The seeds were introduced from France as continental Europe had been producing the plant for several decades before the UK. It was discovered that the flesh of the root had a sweet taste. When they boiled it, they found that it produced a syrup type substance. This was because it contains sucrose in a large quantity, 20 percent to be precise. That is enough to produce sugar in the granulated form we know. You can get the same from a red beetroot but it’s not as tasty as the Cane type and the competition between Cane and Beet is still going on to this day.

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In the UK at 8 Million tonnes a year we’re almost pretty self-sufficient in sugar production so the need to import is greatly reduced. Some British companies use Beet 100% not importing any to sell at all. This is great solution as it means that not only are the jobs of harvesting and production kept in the country, but it also massively reduces the carbon footprint of the sugar that you purchase in a shop. Beet sugar is clearly defined on the packaging. It also means that we can export it the Continent where the Beet industry is not as well supported.

The process of making it is not that different from the original, although on a much greater scale. Most production units are with 30 mile of the fields. The Beets are harvested and transported. They are sliced boiled in lime. The syrup has crystals added which are then grown and packed when dry and cool. You can get Icing, Caster and Brown types too!


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