Beet Sugar

Root Beer Made With Beet Sugar?

That’s right, Rocky Mountain Root Beer is made with Beet Sugar, and who knows . . . maybe others as well.  Well, what is beet sugar and how is it made?  How better to understand how it’s made then to watch a clip from How It’s Made!

Beet Sugar

Simply put, beet sugar is a kind of sugar made from the common beet.  That’s pretty cool considering that as a kid I always thought that beets were a touch disgusting . . . the disgusting part is not that far fetched being that it’s proper name is beta vulgaris.  Anyway, would you believe that 30% of the world’s sugar comes from beets?  I guess it’s quite a bit more common than one would have imagined.  Here is a little quip from the WiseGeek web-site on beet sugar:

Beet sugar is a form of sugar which is extracted from a cultivar of Beta vulgaris, the common beet. Around 30% of the world’s total sugar supply comes from beets. Most markets carry beet sugar, although it may not always be explicitly labeled, and if you have white sugar in your cupboards, there is a good chance that it has been made from beets. Because beet sugar performs slightly differently than cane sugar, it can important to check sugar packaging to determine its source, especially when baking.

Humans have cultivated beets for thousands of years, and they may be among the oldest of European and Middle Eastern root vegetables. However, their potential as a source of sucrose was not realized until around the 1500s, and it took several hundred more years for a reliably sugar-high varietal of beet to be developed. In the early 1800s, beet sugar processing plants began opening in Europe, and they slowly spread to the United States.