Sugar is a simple carbohydrate normally obtained from sugar cane, but it can also be produced from beet, for example. Its function is primarily to add sweetness to drinks and food.
It has a very long history (sugar cane was already used to add sweetness to foods in Asia 6000 years ago) and has acquired varieties for centuries. Whether you’re looking for a healthier life or it’s impossible to plant sugar cane, you can find a variety of sugars today. Check out 6 of them and their details here.
1. Brown sugar
Brown is a version of raw sugar. This means that it has not undergone a chemical refining process and will be brown or golden. It’s always good to find a brand that is a mixture of brown sugar and crystal sugar and not a different version.
In addition to preserving sugar cane molasses, brown sugar preserves some of the salts of vitamins, calcium, iron and minerals, ensuring a stronger flavor. Its texture is moist and sandy, and its unique flavor is not only a great alternative to a sophisticated type, but also a basic ingredient in gastronomy.
2. Powdered sugar
Iced sugar, also known as powdered sugar, is finer than the refined type and is lighter because it contains some additives in its composition. Seen up close, it resembles a kind of talcum powder or flour.
It is a type of sugar mainly used in bread making and confectionery because it adheres to the surface of bread and sweets. Also suitable for whipped cream, toppings and icing. With such a name, it couldn’t have been different, right?
3. Coconut sugar
Today’s darling, coconut sugar, is a substance extracted from the sap of coconut palm flowers, and although its calorie value is not so different from other species, it is very nutritious. It is an excellent source of B vitamins as well as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Its composition contains dietary fiber called inulin, which is ideal for delaying the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. The low glycemic index helps keep blood sugar low. Some people say it’s not as sweet as classy, but it’s a matter of educating the taste buds.
4. Demerara sugar
Demerara sugar is very nutritious and slightly refined, much like brown sugar, but with no chemical additives. The beans are light brown and have a subtle molasses flavor.
It is used as a topping for baked goods such as muffins and cookies, but it is generally used for sweetening in hot drinks such as coffee and tea. Currently, unlike coconut, demerara is a sugar with a high glycemic index and should be taken wisely.
5. Crystal sugar
Crystal sugar, one of the most consumed in Brazilian homes, is a type with large, irregular crystals. They vary between clear and slightly yellow as a result of the process of refining, evaporating, crystallization and drying sugar cane juice. Due to this manufacturing method, it loses many minerals and vitamins.
This is the type recommended by the food industry when offering different versions. By adding artificial dyes, you can easily find crystals of many colors such as blue, pink and orange. However, it definitely changes color and the product is the same.
6. Refined sugar
Refined sugar, which is an ancient war that exists in most households in Japan, is a type obtained from crystalline sugar. During purification, crystalline sugar dissolves and is clarified and filtered.
This method is heavy and requires the addition of chemical additives such as sulfur to obtain a white color. In this process, almost all vitamins and minerals get in the way, leaving almost only sucrose.