Sugarcane is a tall grass, of tropical and warm regions, having a stout, jointed stalk, and constituting the chief source of sugar. Sugarcane is an important industrial crop of tropical and subtropical regions and is cultivated on close to 20 million hectares in more then 90 countries.
It has a low glycemic index, which helps in keeping the body fit and healthy overall. Drinking sugar cane juice has been studied to be advantageous in treating and preventing colds, flu and sore throat. Sugar cane does not contain simple sugars so diabetics can safely add them to their diet. It is also considered as an excellent source of energy as it contains glucose that is stored as glycogen and is burned by the muscles or energy. They serve as a
healthier alternative to drinking carbonated drinks and sodas.
Sugarcane is considered as one of the best converters of solar energy into biomass and sugar. It is a rich source of food (sucrose, jaggery and syrup), fiber (cellulose), fodder (green leaves and tops of cane plant, bagasse, and molasses and to some extent press mud), fuel and chemical. The main by-products are bagasse, molasses and press mud. Baggasse is traditionally used as captive fuel in sugar factory boiler for raising steam required for the generation of power and driving the prime movers. Molasses contains about 30-35 per cent sugar and 15–20 per cent reducing sugars. Thus, the total sugar content of molasses is 45–55 per cent. It is by virtue of this total content that molasses is a valuable raw material for the production of many value-added products. The main products that can be produced from it on commercial scale are ethyl alcohol, citric acid,
lactic acid, cattle feed, oxalic acid, bakers yeast, mono sodium glutamate, torula yeast, lysine, acetone-butanol-alcohol.