Sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beet (a close relative of beetroot). As Australia is a major sugar grower of sugar cane, it supplies our sugar requirements.
Sugar cane is rolled and crushed in mills which, for every 100 tons, gives 30 tons of fibrous residue, about 12 tons sugar and 4 tons of molasses.
The liquids are reduced to a syrup by boiling until sugar crystals form. This is spun in a centrifuge to separate the molasses from the sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are then dried. The result is raw sugar.
Further refinement gives white sugar crystals. During the refining process various brown sugars are produced. Golden syrup is a by-product of this process. Caster sugar is a fine crystal that has been sieved fromrefined white sugar. Icing sugar is ground white sugar crystals mixed with cornflour or other anti-caking compound.
Sugar syrup is a mixture of sugar and water often in the proportion of two parts of sugar to one of water that is heated to help dissolve the sugar.