Advantages & Disadvantages of Sugar Cane

Sugar cane is the well-thought-of traditional sweetener and staple crop of many tropical countries 1. Its benefits range from easing the symptoms of diabetes to being a teeth strengthener and cold remedy. Its disadvantages of have only arisen recently as more governments look to the plant as a new avenue in the biofuel battle.

Health Benefits

Raw sugar cane, when chewed, has been known to strengthen teeth and gums much in the same way a baby's teething ring does. Sugar cane juice has also been reported to ease a sore throat and fight the flu/colds due to its low glycemic index. The juice may also be consumed by diabetics because at this point in its refinement process there are no simple sugars present.

Advantages as a Biofuel

Sugar cane has been mined as an important alternative to corn as an ingredient in ethanol-based biofuel. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline and as such produces less environmentally harmful emissions. Sugar, when mashed, produces alcohol which leads to its refinement as a biofuel.

Disadvantages as a Biofuel

Ethanol refined with sugar cane is more corrosive to engine parts than other oil based fuels. Ethanol absorbs water and dirt easier than other more viscous fuels, and if those acquired impurities are not filtered out that they can cause performances problems when they reach the engine block.