Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sugars are processed from various plant sources. Most people know of sugar cane and the sugar that comes from corn. However, a lot of sugar is also processed from beets.
Most people assume that white table sugar comes from sugar cane. In fact, about half of the sugar produced in the United States comes from sugar beet. Sugar beet is grown in the temperate states. It does not do well in the warmer southern states.
High fructose corn syrup has received a lot of negative media lately. It comes from corn and is found in just about every processed food. It is used so extensively because it is cheap to make and is sweeter than other sugars.
Sugar is also used in the medical industry. It is used to coat tablets and sweeten liquid drugs that will be taken orally. It's also used in toothpaste as well as other oral care products.