|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
Sugaring is a food preservation method similar to pickling. Sugaring is the process of desiccating a food by first dehydrating it, then packing it with pure sugar. This sugar can be crystalline in the form of table or raw sugar, or it can be a high sugar density liquid such as honey, syrup or molasses.
The purpose of sugaring is to create an environment hostile to microbial life and prevent food spoilage. Sugaring is commonly used to preserve fruits as well as vegetables such as ginger. From time to time sugaring has also been used for non-food preservations. For example, honey was used as part of the mummification process in some ancient Egyptian rites.
A risk in sugaring is that sugar itself attracts moisture. Once a sufficient moisture level is reached, native yeast in the environment will come out of dormancy and begin to ferment the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This leads to the process of fermentation. Although fermentation can be used as a food preservation method, it must be intentionally controlled, or the results will tend to be unpleasant.
Sugaring also refers, possibly incorrectly, to the method used in the production of Maple Syrup.