Sugar is a natural sweetener and a nutritive carbohydrate. Its sweetness profile is generally not matched by other carbohydrates or artificial sweeteners, and is stable over time.
Sugar provides many other useful properties:
- high concentrations of sugar may act as a preservative (by osmotic effect) against most micro-organisms;
- low concentrations of sugar can be a flavour enhancer;
- sugar modifies boiling and freezing points of mixtures and solutions;
- sugar has humectant properties;
- sugar is important as a fermentable in breads, and brewed beverages;
- sugar contributes “body” and “mouth feel” to all sweetened beverages.
Sugar is an established ingredient in food and beverage preparation because of its unique versatility and its compatibility with normal processing requirements such as cooking, freezing, dissolving and blending.
Sugar is also used for its chemical and physical properties in some non food applications.