Crystalline, sweet-tasting food obtained from various plants. The main sources are sugar cane with around 80% of global production (cultivation in the tropics and subtropics, sugar beet (cultivation in temperate zones, for example in Central Europe) and genetically modified sugar beet. Depending on the number of carbon atoms in a sugar molecule, there are the designations pentoses (5 atoms = chem. formula starting with C5) and hexoses (6 atoms = starting with C6). In the metabolism of the human body, the sugars are oxidised, releasing energy under heat, which causes motor activity. Most plants produce sugar through photosynthesis in the form of sucrose and store it in the cells. Some is converted into starch and stored in the stem and roots.
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