Sugar derived from genetically modified sugarcane

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Abstract or Summary

Sugar is an ancient food and currently one of the most used ingredients in human nutrition and in the food industry. In tropical regions, sugar is produced mainly from sugarcane, while temperate countries produce sugar preferably from sugar beets. Due to its widespread use, the forthcoming adoption of genetically modified (GM) sugarcane varieties may raise questions about the quality and classification of the sugar produced. Here, we describe the several varieties of sugar and their specific uses and legal classifications. Regardless of whether they are produced from beet or from sugarcane and their final use, sugar consists of highly purified substances composed almost entirely from a disaccharide (sucrose) whose molecules consist of two monosaccharide residues: glucose and fructose. The differences between commercial sugar types are primarily in sucrose content (> 99.00 to 99.80 °Z), moisture content, ICUMSA color, conductivity ashes and reducing sugar. Neither DNA nor proteins can be detected at relevant levels in the different types of sugar. Therefore, sugar from genetically modified sugarcane varieties is virtually identical to sugar produced from conventional sugarcane, and the adoption of GM sugarcane varieties should not cause any change to the current use of sugar in human nutrition and in the food industry.

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