Sugar: Sweet Success of India (E)
Sugar is one of the most important commodities in the world. Apart from its economic significance sugar also has immense cultural relevance in India - no joyous occasion or festivities are complete without traditional sweets. Although India has been making GUR or jaggery for centuries, the large-scale industrial production of refined crystallized white sugar began in early 1900. In about 120 years sugarcane cultivation has emerged as one of India’s main cash crops and now there are over 700 Sugar mills across the country that produce it. The byproducts of the sugar cane plant and its juice are numerous, while it is the main source of sugar and gur it also provides the raw material for the production of ethanol - in fact, the government of India has set a target of blending ethanol in petrol to 20% by 2023-24 to reduce our dependence on imported petroleum. The ultimate target is to also have vehicles that can take up to 100% ethanol as fuel. So in this two-part series we travel to one of India’s largest and modern sugar mills - the Saraswati Sugar Mill in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana to see the scientific process which turns sugar cane juice into sugar and its entire mechanical ecosystem to really understand why the sugar industry is part of India’s larger Atma Nirbhar Mission -In our subsequent episode, we look at the process of how ethanol is produced and how India’s Petroleum Companies like India Oil are working to meet the government's target of blending ethanol in petrol by 20 %/ This is much more in our special episodes of Science for a Self Reliant India. Keep watching.