Texas A&M University indicates that the organelle that breaks down sugar to produce energy is the mitochondria. This process, which involves turning sugar into energy, is called cellular respiration.
The mitochondria is considered the energy factory of the cell, as explained by Georgia State University. It uses the energy in food to produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is a molecule that provides energy to the body.
According to Texas A&M University, by the time food reaches the mitochondria, it is already broken down into glucose, a sugar molecule. Glucose is then used to produce energy during cellular respiration.
MitoCanada explains that the production of ATP occurs during cellular respiration by using oxygen and the sugar, fat or protein found in food. Oxygen and food enter the mitochondria, producing energy much like a furnace produces heat from gas and oxygen.
According to Georgia State University, each cell in an animal contains up to 2,000 mitochondria. Additionally, all living cells regardless of species contain these organelles.
Mitochondria are semi-autonomous, as explained by About.com. They contain their own ribosomes and DNA. They also make protein without depending on the cell. They even have some characteristics similar to bacteria. For instance, they reproduce through fission.