Sugars defined

Not all sugars are equal.

April 30, 2014 - Author: ,

Many are asking the question: What is the difference between raw sugar, refined sugar and evaporated cane juice? Aren’t they all sugars? Yes, they are all sugars but one has more nutrional value. Michigan State University Extension breaks it down.

Regular white sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beets. Evaporated cane juice is also made from sugar cane. The difference between white sugar made from sugar cane and evaporated cane juice has to do with the different ways they are processed. Evaporated cane juice is a more nutritious sweetener than white sugar because it is not as highly processed and retains more of the nutrients found in sugar cane.

White sugar is sucrose made from the sugar cane. Cane juice is extracted by crushing the canes to release the juice which is filtered with slaked lime to remove dirt and debris from the harvesting process. Next, it is thickened into syrup by boiling. To produce granulated sugar, the cane syrup is boiled until crystals form. The mixture of crystals and syrup is spun in a centrifuge to separate the two. Then the crystals of raw sugar are dried with hot air. Raw sugar is shipped to the country where it will be used and is further refined into white sugar there.At the refinery, sugar is again liquefied and processed to remove the remaining color and anything that isn't pure sugar. After processing, the sugar is centrifuged to remove the remaining liquid from the sugar crystals. Sugar crystals are ground into fine, regular and large crystals, depending on their ultimate use. The liquid left after the crystals are removed and dried, creating molasses.

Evaporated cane juice is harvested from sugar cane also. It is less refined, so it remains a light tan color and retains some of the nutrients found in sugar cane juice. It is processed by boiling, to evaporate most of the water in the juice. Organic evaporated cane juice is made from sugar cane raised according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture's organic standards, produced without using most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or sewage, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.

Believe it or not, but sugar has nutrients. Sugar has 111 calories per ounce and an ounce of sugar equals 2 tablespoons. Sugar is 99.9 percent carbohydrate, of which 99.8 percent is sucrose, plus trace amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. It has 0.001 milligrams of riboflavin. The difference between white sugar and evaporated cane juice is in the nutritional facts label.

Evaporated cane juice has the same number of calories per ounce, but contains 0.2 grams of protein, 0.7 grams of insoluble fiber, 0.16 milligrams of riboflavin, 0.2 milligrams of niacin, 32.57 milligrams of calcium, 0.6 milligrams of iron, 2.5 milligrams of magnesium and 162.8 milligrams of potassium.

Both are sugars, but evaporated canejuice has a higher nutritional value.  Therefore, not all sugars are equal.

Tags: food & health, msu extension, nutrition, weight management

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