Sucrose, extracted and purified in specialized mill sugar refining process pdf, is used as raw material in the food industry or is fermented to produce ethanol. Ethanol is produced on a large scale by the Brazilian sugarcane industry. Sugarcane is the world’s largest crop by production quantity. 90 countries, with a worldwide harvest of 1.
Brazil was the largest producer of sugar cane in the world. The next five major producers, in decreasing amounts of production, were India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, and Mexico. The global demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. The Persians, followed by the Greeks, encountered the famous “reeds that produce honey without bees” in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and then spread sugarcane agriculture. Merchants began to trade in sugar from India, which was considered a luxury and an expensive spice.
Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia. Different species likely originated in different locations, with Saccharum barberi originating in India and S. Boiling houses in the 17th through 19th centuries converted sugarcane juice into raw sugar. These houses were attached to sugar plantations in the Western colonies. Slaves often ran the boiling process under very poor conditions. Rectangular boxes of brick or stone served as furnaces, with an opening at the bottom to stoke the fire and remove ashes. In the British Empire, slaves were liberated after 1833 and many would no longer work on sugarcane plantations when they had a choice.
British owners of sugarcane plantations therefore needed new workers, and they found cheap labour in China, Portugal and India. South Pacific Islands to work on sugarcane plantations between 1863 and 1900. Cuban sugar derived from sugarcane was exported to the USSR, where it received price supports and was ensured a guaranteed market. The 1991 dissolution of the Soviet state forced the closure of most of Cuba’s sugar industry. Sugarcane remains an important part of the economy of Guyana, Belize, Barbados, and Haiti, along with the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, and other islands.
A 19th-century lithograph by Theodore Bray showing a sugarcane plantation: On the right is the “white officer”, the European overseer. Slave workers toil during the harvest. To the left is a flat-bottomed vessel for cane transportation. Sugarcane is cultivated in the tropics and subtropics in areas with a plentiful supply of water for a continuous period of more than six to seven months each year, either from natural rainfall or through irrigation. The crop does not tolerate severe frosts. Sugarcane can be grown on many soils ranging from highly fertile well-drained mollisols, through heavy cracking vertisols, infertile acid oxisols, peaty histosols, to rocky andisols.