History of sugar
The history of sugar has five main phases: The extraction of sugar cane juice from the sugar cane plant; and, the subsequent domestication of the plant in tropical Southeast Asia many thousands of years ago (a firm date is unknown). The invention of manufacture of cane sugar granules from the sugar cane juice in India a little over two thousand years ago, followed by improvements in refining the crystal granules in India in the early centuries A.D. The spread of cultivation and manufacture of cane sugar to the medieval Islamic world together with some improvements of production methods. The spread of cultivation and manufacture of cane sugar to the West Indies and tropical parts of the Americas beginning in the 16th century, followed by more intensive improvements in production in the 17th through 19th centuries in that part of the world. The development of beet sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners in the 19th and 20th centuries.Worldwide through the end of the medieval period, sugar was very expensive and was considered a ""fine spice"", but from about the year 1500, technological improvements and New World sources began turning it into a much cheaper bulk commodity.