The Conversion of Cane Juice to Sugar: a Chemical or Physical Change?

Chemistry, Food
[caption id="attachment_24130" align="alignright" width="480"] Harvested sugarcane.[/caption] One of our readers asks, “So, is the crystallization process of cane juice to raw sugar considered a chemical change or a physical change? Why one or the other?” Let’s discuss, starting with an explanation of what constitutes a chemical change. What is a Chemical Change? A chemical compound consists of atoms bonded together in specific fashion to form molecules. When you modify the combination of atoms, you’ve achieved a chemical change. For instance, combine sodium hydroxide with hydrochloric acid, and the result is sodium chloride (table salt) and water, according to the reaction: NaOH + HCl → NaCl + H₂O This example clearly represents a chemical change. Salt (NaCl) is edible, sodium hydroxide or lye (NaOH) is not. Water (H₂O) is safe for…
Read More