Sugarcane - fun facts you didn't know part 002

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1. Roman and Greek civilizations used sugarcane

Sugarcane, the plant from which sugar is derived, is native to Southeast Asia and was first cultivated there around 8000 BCE. From there, it spread to other parts of the world, including India, the Middle East, and eventually Africa.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were certainly aware of sugarcane, as it was traded along the Silk Road and other ancient trade routes.

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that sugar became more widely available in Europe, thanks to the expansion of trade routes and the development of sugar refineries. However, sugar was still a luxury item and was primarily consumed by the wealthy.

2. Sugarcane was used in wound healing

Sugarcane has been used for wound healing in some traditional medicinal practices. The practice of using sugarcane for wound healing is known as sugaring or sugar therapy, and it has been used for centuries in various cultures around the world.

3. Sugarcane remains can be used as biofuel

After the sugarcane is harvested, the remaining biomass, which includes the leaves, stalks, and other plant material, can be processed to produce a variety of biofuels, including ethanol and biogas. The process of converting sugarcane biomass into biofuels typically involves a series of steps, including cutting, chopping, drying, and fermentation.

Ethanol produced from sugarcane biomass is used as a fuel additive or can be blended with gasoline to produce a biofuel blend. Biogas, which is produced by the anaerobic digestion of sugarcane biomass, can be used to generate electricity or can be processed to produce natural gas.

4. Buddhist monks carried sugar-making processes to China

There is historical evidence that Buddhist monks played a significant role in spreading the knowledge of sugar-making processes from India to China. It is believed that sugar cultivation and processing were first introduced to India by the Persians around the 6th century AD, and from there, it spread to other parts of Asia.

Buddhist monks, who traveled extensively across Asia, are thought to have played a key role in the transmission of knowledge and ideas between different cultures. It is believed that they brought the knowledge of sugar-making processes to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

In China, sugar production initially remained a small-scale industry, and the use of sugar was limited mainly to medicine and as a luxury item for the wealthy. However, over time, sugar production and consumption spread throughout China, and by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), sugar had become a widely consumed commodity.

The spread of sugar production and consumption in China significantly impacted Chinese society and culture.


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