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Cane sugar - is it he althy? It is commonly believed that cane sugar is much better in terms of he alth properties than white or brown sugar. Meanwhile, it turns out that this is not entirely true. Check the he alth effects of cane sugar, how many calories it has, and its advantages and disadvantages.


  1. Cane sugar - properties, calories
  2. Cane sugar - is it he althy?
  3. Raw cane sugar - gour, desi, panela
  4. Cane and white sugar - differences
  5. Brown vs. brown sugar - differences
  6. Cane sugar - production
  7. Cane sugar - application

Cane sugaris sugar made from sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) - a tall grassy plant that grows to a height of 2.5 - 4 meters, native to tropical and subtropical regions .

Cane sugar has a characteristic caramel flavor and aftertaste. It comes from the ingredients of cane juice: organic acids, acetaldehyde and alcohols. Cane sugar is most often available in the form of crystals, as white and brown sugar. There are many varieties of it. These include:

  • non-crystalline cane syrup - thick golden to dark brown syrup containing up to 50% sucrose
  • refined sugar crystals - white or brown with a sucrose content of up to 99%
  • non-centrifuged sugar - lump sugar, which contains molasses and approx. 80% sucrose, has a color from yellowish brown to almost black, in various regions it is known under other names: jaggery in Africa, gur in India and Bangladesh, desi in Pakistan, chancaca in Peru, panela in Venezuela, as well as piloncillo, or rapedura
  • Demerara sugar - spin sugar, obtained after the first crystallization of cane syrup, has large yellow crystals and a sticky consistency
  • Muscovado sugar or Barbados in other words - the product of the third crystallization of cane syrup with small dark brown grains and a sticky consistency

Cane sugar - properties, calories

Cane sugar is mainly (even up to 99.9%) sucrose - a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose molecules. 100 g of cane sugar provides 387 kcal, and one teaspoon weighing 4 g -16 kcal. There are no vitamins in refined cane sugar, and there are trace amounts of minerals:

How many calories does cane sugar have?(in 100 g)

Nutrientsin 100g
Energy value387 kcal
calcium1 mg
potassium2 mg
fluor1 mg
selenium0.6 μg

With such a low mineral content, it is absolutely impossible to say that sugar is a dietary source of sugar. Refined cane sugar is pure energy without any additional nutrients.

Cane sugar cubes not subjected to centrifugation and refining have a slightly different effect on he alth and the dining experience.

Unrefined cane sugarcontains less sucrose (80%) and has a different texture, taste and smell than refined sugar.

Cane sugar - is it he althy?

The World He alth Organization recommends that the consumption of free (added) sugars - i.e. added to sweeten food and drinks prepared at home, added in the food production process and present in fruit juices - should not exceed 5-10% of the energy from the daily menu , which for the example diet of 2000 kcal equals 100-200 kcal and corresponds to 7-14 teaspoons of sugar.

Eating too much sugar can lead to all sorts of he alth problems. The consequences of sugar overconsumption can be:

  • overweight and obesity
  • tooth decay
  • wolf hunger attacks
  • problems with concentration

Cane sugar is not a he althy sugar substitute. Just like traditional white sugar in approx. 99 percent. consists of sucrose and provides approx. 400 kcal in 100 g.

  • increased risk of depression in adults
  • intensification of low-intensity inflammatory processes
  • increasing pain in arthritis
  • increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • accelerated skin aging due to glycation of proteins (sugar fragments attach to them)
  • fatty liver
  • insulin resistance
  • type II diabetes
  • increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • erection problems

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Raw cane sugar - gour, desi, panela

Raw sugar is a traditional product made from cane juice, made by thickening it. It is brown in color, sticky and moist, sold inblocks of various sizes and shapes.

Raw sugar is produced in around 25 countries and is known by many different names. incl. jaggery, gur, desi, chancaca, panela, piloncillo, rapedura.

Its nutritional value is higher than that of refined cane sugar. Raw sugar contains approx. 80% of sucrose, a nutritionally significant amount of minerals and antioxidant polyphenols.

Mineral content in 100 g of raw cane sugar

MineralAmount of mg in 100 g of sugar
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Cane and white sugar - differences

Comparing sugar with the highest availability in stores (i.e. refined sugar), there are practically no differences in chemical composition between cane and beet sugar.

In both cases, it is 96-99% sucrose, accompanied by a small amount of other ingredients, mainly minerals. The composition of mineral s alts may differ, but taking into account their content compared to the amount of pure sucrose, it has no he alth significance.

Cane sugar is a sweetener similar to beet sugar, which is equated with ordinary white sugar.

Cane and beet sugar can be white and brown. In cane, the molasses that gives the brown color and caramel flavor to sugar is found naturally in cane juice and is then used to make brown cane sugar, while in beet, cane molasses is added in the manufacturing process.

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The difference between refined brown beet sugar and brown cane sugar is only visible in confectionery.

Some confectioners use only cane sugar, as they believe it has a better effect on the final quality of the products. Indeed, the higher moisture content of brown cane sugar can affect the quality of baked goods and desserts.

At high temperature (160 degrees C for 3 hours), beet sugar remains crystalline and turns light brown, while cane sugar becomes a dark brown liquid.

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Author: TimeS.A

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Brown vs. brown sugar - differences

Many people think that when they sprinkle brown sugar in their coffee, they sweeten it with cane sugar. nothing could be more wrong. This is beet sugar that was first refined and then colored with caramel. It is a bit cheaper than unrefined sugar, but much more expensive than plain white sugar, which does not differ in anything but color.

The term "brown sugar" has been used by beet sugar producers to mislead consumers by suggesting that it is cane sugar. This is a smart way for manufacturers to sell their product at the highest possible price, so be sure to read the labels.

Cane sugar - production

The sugar cane from which cane sugar is produced contains 12-15% of sucrose, which constitutes 96-99% of industrially produced cane sugar. Sugar cane is not very resistant to storage after cutting and the properties of the product obtained from it deteriorate quickly. Hence, cane sugar is made in two stages.

As soon as possible after cutting the plants, raw sugar is harvested on site, then transported to the appropriate factories and ready-to-eat cane sugar is produced. Sucrose is concentrated in the cane juice. In addition to sugar, this juice contains starch and other polysaccharides, fiber fragments, flavonoids, anthocyanins, proteins, free amino acids, organic acids and s alts.

World annual sugar production is around 120x106 tons, of which 70% is made from sugar cane and the remaining 30% from sugar beet. The largest producers of cane sugar are: Brazil, India, China, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, Pakistan, Cuba, the United States and South Africa.

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Modern methods of producing cane sugar include the following steps:

1. Extraction of sugarcane juice - the sugarcane is cut into very fine pieces which are ground by crushers and mills to extract the juice. Ultimately, 90-95% of the juice contained in it is extracted from the reed.

2. Juice clarification - the juice squeezed from sugar cane is a mixture containing about 15% sucrose, small amounts of glucose, fructose,proteins, minerals, organic acids, dyes and gums. It is a dark, opaque liquid that starts to ferment over time.

To avoid this, the juice is clarified. The juice is purified by sulfurization (action with milk of lime and sulfur dioxide) and carbonation.

3. Then we use defecation (raising the pH of the juice to 7.2 by adding lime), carbonization (removing unreacted lime with carbon dioxide) and sulfurization with sulfur dioxide, which additionally brightens the juice.

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4. Filtering to remove sediment.

5. Concentration and crystallization - the juice is concentrated in an evaporator by evaporating water at lower pressure. Sulfur dioxide is added again and in the next step the syrupy juice is boiled in a vacuum vessel until the first sugar crystals appear. The contents of the vessel are transferred to a crystallizing dish and allowed to cool slowly, during which the sugar crystals increase in size.

6. Separation of the crystals - the crystals, together with the molasses, are centrifuged in centrifuges to separate the molasses and then dried. The sugar prepared in this way has a bluish color. It can be eaten and sold.

7. Sugar refining - in developed countries, refining is usually used, that is, further purification. For this, sugar is dissolved in hot water and decolored with activated charcoal. Then it is filtered, concentrated under reduced pressure and crystallized. 8. Raw sugar is produced without the stages of centrifuging and refining, while when producing brown sugar, a special molasses syrup is added to the white sugar crystals.

Cane sugar - application

Sugar is a very important raw material from the perspective of the food industry. In many products it is difficult to replace it with another ingredient without losing the organoleptic qualities important for the consumer.

Cane sugar gives color to caramelized and baked products and prevents the fruit from losing color. In addition, it has a decorative function - it gives food shine, e.g. onions, is used for the production of glazes and various decorations in confectionery.

Other uses of cane sugar in industry:

  • Sweetener
  • Masks the bitter aftertaste
  • Regulates acidity
  • Protects fruit in a can from oxidation and loss of flavor
  • increases volume
  • improves stickiness
  • stabilizes gels, e.g. jellies
  • thickens
  • lowers the freezing point of ice cream
  • foaming agent
  • delays protein coagulation
  • pickled vegetables become crispier
  • increases the osmotic pressure in jams and jellies, destroying microorganisms
  • worsens the conditions for the development of microorganisms in water contained in food products
  • prevents premature drying of food

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