“It’s no accident that sugar has been a fixture in food since around 10,000 years ago. Historians trace the first use of sugarcane to New Guinea. By 500 BC, some farmers in India were transforming the cane into raw sugar. Sucrose, as it’s known to scientists, is a nearly perfect compound. It preserves. It ferments and caramelizes. It provides viscosity and mouthfeel, texture, and bulk. It enhances the flavors of other ingredients. As even a toddler could tell you, it is the gold standard of sweetness.” But consumers increasingly view sugar as the new tobacco, and they’re demanding a replacement. Unfortunately for big food companies, they also view sugar-substitutes as unnatural and unhealthy. From Fortune: The Hunt for the Perfect Sugar.