Sugar is an inexpensive, natural sweetener and a nutritive carbohydrate. Its
sweetness profile is generally not matched by other carbohydrates or artificial
sweeteners, and is stable over time.
Sugar has many other useful properties:
high concentrations of sugar may act as a preservative (by osmotic effect)
against most micro-organisms; low concentrations of sugar can be a flavour
sugar performs as an anti-oxidant
sugar modifies boiling and freezing points of mixtures and solutions
sugar has humectant properties (retention of water)
sugar is important as a fermentable in breads, and brewed beverages
sugar contributes 'body' and 'mouth feel' to all sweetened beverages
Sugar is an established ingredient in food and beverage preparation because of
its unique versatility and its compatibility with normal processing
requirements such as cooking, freezing, dissolving and blending.
Sugar is also used for its chemical properties in some non food applications.