Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content or produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar.

Brown sugar contains from 3.5% molasses (light brown sugar) to 6.5% molasses (dark brown sugar). The product is naturally moist from the hygroscopic nature of the molasses and is often labeled as “soft.” The product may undergo processing to give a product that flows better for industrial handling. The addition of dyes and/or other chemicals may be permitted in some areas or for industrial products.

Particle size is variable but generally less than granulated white sugar, products for industrial use e.g. as an ingredient for industrial production of cakes may be based on caster sugar (crystals of approximately 0.35 mm).

Brown sugar typical of that bought in Western supermarkets

[Brown sugar typical of that bought in Western supermarkets]

Brown Sugar manufacture

Many brown sugar producers produce brown sugar by adding cane molasses to completely refined white sugar crystals in order to more carefully control the ratio of molasses to sugar crystals and to reduce manufacturing costs. This also allows the production of brown sugars in areas where the source of sugar is predominantly from beet. Brown sugar prepared in this manner is often much coarser than its unrefined equivalent and its molasses may be easily separated from the crystals by simple washing to reveal the underlying white sugar crystals; with unrefined brown there is inclusion of molasses within the crystal which will appear off-white if washed. This is mainly done for inventory control and convenience.

The molasses used is often that obtained from sugar cane, because the flavor is preferable over that of beet sugar molasses, though some areas, e.g. the Netherlands, sugar beet molasses is often used. Beet molasses generally carries a strong vegetable odor and taste from its beet origins; brown sugar produced from this will have a slightly different taste and smell to that produced with cane molasses. The white sugar used can be from either beet or cane as odor and color differences will be covered by the molasses.

Brown sugar can be made at home by mixing white granulated sugar with molasses, using one tablespoon of molasses for every cup of white sugar (one-sixteenth or 6.25% of the total volume). Thorough blending will yield dark brown sugar; for light brown sugar, between one and two teaspoons of molasses per cup should be used instead. It is, however, simpler to substitute molasses for an equal portion of white sugar while cooking, without mixing them separately.

Nutritional Value

Brown sugar has a slightly lower caloric value by weight than white sugar due to the presence of water. One hundred grams of brown sugar contains 373 calories, as opposed to 396 calories in white sugar. [1] However, brown sugar packs more densely than white sugar due to the smaller crystal size and may have more calories when measured by volume.

Brown sugar is reputed to have some value as a home remedy for menstrual cramps, though this is likely apocryphal.

Natural Brown (Raw) Sugar

Natural brown sugar is a name for raw sugar which is a brown sugar produced from the first crystallization of cane. Raw sugar is more commonly used, then further processed white sugar. As such “natural brown sugar” is free of additional dyes and chemicals. There is a higher level of inclusion of molasses than brown sugar giving it a higher mineral content. Some instances of natural brown sugars have particular names and characteristics and are sold as such: eg Demerara or Muscovado.

Why is it healthier?

Natural Brown Sugar is processed the natural way–completely free from any harmful chemicals such as phosphoric acid, formic acid, sulfur dioxide, preservatives, or any flocculants, surfactants, bleaching agents or viscosity modifiers.
Natural Brown Sugar has 11 calories/ 4 grams (1tsp). It is also nutritionally rich & retains all natural mineral & vitamin content present inherent in sugarcane juice.

Nutrients

Natural Brown Sugar

(Per 100g)

Total Mineral salts

740 mg max

Phosphorus (P)

3.9 mg max

Calcium (Ca)

85 mg max

Magnesium (Mg)

23 mg max

Potassium (K)

100 mg max

Iron (Fe)

1.3 mg max

Imbalance in minerals is one prime cause of disease. Reason for this is over- consumption of refined products like refined sugars, refined oils, & refined salt. It is therefore vital to consume less processed, more natural & nutritious products such as the healthy & wholesome Natural Brown Sugar.

Overall Comparison

TRAITS

BROWN/ (DEMERARA) SUGAR

ORDINARY WHITE SUGAR

Physical Appearance

Yellowish-brown sugar in the rich aroma of tropical sugarcane.

No flavor, taste, or color from natural sources.

Production Process

Produced by a precise co-crystallization process to retain natural flavor & color components.

Ordinary sugar manufacture process employs several chemicals.

Chemical Additives

At no stage in the production process, are any chemical additives added. It is free from any harmful chemicals like phosphoric acid, formic acid, sulfur dioxide, preservatives/bleaching agents. This results in a health-friendly and chemical-free sugar.

Processing involves a potpourri of chemicals; all finally showing their impact on our health in the long run. Sulfur carryover puts health at stake.

Nutrition Content

Apart from a pure and natural sweetness, it contains 187 mg calcium, 56 mg phosphorous, 4.8mg iron, 757 mg potassium, and 97 mg sodium per cup of sugar-all from natural sources.

Does not contain natural minerals.

Sources: www.sugarindia.com, wikipedia

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