I’m truly sorry for the title, but it says what I think about this succinctly. I tried half a dozen variations and kept coming back to the one word.
There are days when I think I just won’t see anything stupider cross my inbox. Then, today brings a new surprise on the winds of change. Carbon Free Sugar. Let me repeat that. Carbon Free Sugar – certified even.
Those of you who remember their basic high school chemistry might remember this simple and indelible truth: sugar contains carbon.
There is no getting around that. Don’t believe me? Try frying up some sugar in a sauce pan and watch the results. Or just pick up a used mass spectrograph on Ebay and run an analysis.
Or just consult any number of chemical handbooks. Sucrose is common table sugar (as pictured in the bag) and has the chemical formula: C12H22O11
Looks like twelve atoms of carbon combined with eleven molecules of H2O doesn’t it? That’s why it is called (drum roll please) a carbohydrate.
Eating and digesting sugar turns it into water and carbon dioxide that we exhale, so for it to be truly “carbon free” as the label says, we have to get those twelve molecules of Carbon out. So how do they get the carbon out of that sucrose anyway? It’s really easy, all we need is a catalyst.
Reacting sucrose with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) dehydrates the sucrose and forms the element carbon, as demonstrated in the following chemical equation:
- C12H22O11 + H2SO4 (as catalyst) → 12 C + 11 H2O
So assuming they get the acid out of the mix, we are left with some pure carbon and a bunch of water. Yummm! Perfect for cereal in the morning.
Ok, I’m being a bit extreme, I realize the idea is to promote a carbon neutral production of sugar.
But really, couldn’t the marketing people at Domino realize how stupid this claim sounds? I’ll bet the guys at the Domino company labs are having a fit. I’d love to see the emails that went flying when they learned of this one. Beakers were probably flying across the lab too.
But some companies will do anything to appear green these days, because they want to keep that “other green footprint” high.
Ah, the sweet smell of success.