Sugar crops, or sugar-bearing crops, are a group of agricultural crops that serve as raw materials for sugar production.
Sugar-bearing crops are often combined with starch-bearing crops. Earlier in the domestic classification, the division into root crops (sugar-bearing) and tuber crops (starch-bearing) was applied.
The main representatives of sugar-bearing crops are:
- sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.);
- sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.).
Sugarcane is a perennial plant of the Poaceae family. It is cultivated in countries with tropical and subtropical climates: India, southern China, Central and South America, Africa. There are over 70 sugarcane producing countries in the world. The leader in the amount of sugar produced per capita is Cuba. The content of sugars (mono- and disaccharides) in the stalks is 16-20%.
In countries with temperate climates: Europe and Russia, the main sugar-bearing crop is sugar beet. In total in the world sugar beet is cultivated by 44 countries.
According to FAO, in 1980-1981 over 60% of all sugar produced comes from sugar cane.
The sugar yield of sugar cane is 6-9% of the crude weight and that of sugar beet is 11-13%.
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