Minggu, 13 Maret 2011

Brown Sugar: Why It Is Brown

Brown sugar as the name indicates is brown in colour due to the presence of molasses is a sucrose product. It may be unrefined or partially refined with soft sugar crystals with some residual molasses content or it may be refined to produce white sugar by addition of molasses. The colour may vary from light brown to dark brown depending upon the percentage of molasses. Light brown varieties have 3.5% molasses while dark brown ones contain 6.5% molasses. The product is naturally moist as it is hygroscopic in nature and is labeled soft. The product undergoes processing in order to achieve a highly refined product. Sometimes dyes and other synthetic chemicals are often added to it for industrial purposes.

The size of the particle in the brown sugar is generally variable but is less in comparison to that of refined white sugar. The crystal size may be compared with that of caster sugar measuring about 0.35 mm. Brown variety is produced by adding cane molasses to the completely refined white sugar. The ratio of molasses and white sugar is very important from commercial point of view. This step can be compared with that of the beet sugar production. The molasses are generally derived from the cane and are more preferred over the beet sugar molasses because of better flavor. Although in some areas especially Netherlands sugar beet molasses are used. Brown sugar can be prepared at home by mixing white granulated sugar with molasses. One tablespoon of molasses can be used along with one cup of white variety. Thorough blending of these two substances yields dark coloured brown sugar but for the lighter colour two tablespoons of molasses should be added with every cup of white sugar.

It has low caloric value as compared to the white one as it contains water. Each 100 grams yields about 373 calories as compared to that of white sugar which yields 396 calories. Natural brown sugar is obtained by crystallization of sugar cane. This product contains higher proportion of molasses and mineral content. They are sold with specific names in market for example Turbinado, Muscovado, or Demerara sugar. Turbinado and Demerara are produced by crystalising raw sugar cane juice and then it is spinned in centrifuge in order to remove water and some of the impurities present. Muscovado is unrefined, dark brown in colour produced without crystallizing. The sugar cane extract is first heated in order to make it thick then allowed for pan-evaporation in sun which yields damp sugar with all natural minerals.

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