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What makes organic sugar the better sugar
What Does Organic Sugar Mean?
If you have paid enough attention during your grocery rounds, you may have noticed that there is a sudden influx of organic products. We get anything and everything from organic sugar to organic eggs to fruits and vegetables. While you may be tempted to add them to your cart, you may also wonder about the hype around organic items.
Naturally, it is a well-known fact that organic food products are healthier than their non-organic counterparts. However, does that mean that you need to revamp your pantry and include everything that is organic? Ideally, yes. But practically, you can always switch to organic items in incremental steps by first addressing and eliminating the more harmful products first.
In this case, sugar is the best place to get started! In this post, we will discuss everything that you need to know about organic sugar, how it is prepared, its various types, and health benefits.
So without any further ado, let’s get started!
What is Organic sugar? How is it Prepared?
Essentially, organic sugar is extracted from organically grown sugarcane. The sugarcane does not undergo any chemical treatment or exposure to pesticides and fertilisers. Furthermore, they are processed in a manner that shields them from synthetic or man-made products.
Typically, organically grown sugarcane is harvested, washed, chopped, and crushed to extract sugarcane juice. The sugarcane juice is then subject to boiling, spinning in the centrifuge, and drying until it forms sugar crystals. The resultant organic sugar may be steam cleaned to remove excess molasses.
Types of Organic Sugar
Just like regular sugar, organic sugar is available in various types, namely:
- Organic Raw Sugar: Organic raw sugar is the commonest type of organic sugar available. These are characterised by their golden-blonde sugar crystals. It is also known by other names such as Turbinado, Evaporated Cane Juice, Dehydrated Cane Juice, and Dried Cane Syrup.
- Organic Molasses: The second boiling of sugarcane syrup results in organic molasses, also known as blackstrap molasses. It is a dark, viscous syrup that is packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium. It also has the lowest sugar content amongst all sugarcane products.
- Organic Brown Sugar (Organic Sugar Light/Dark Brown): Organic sugar (brown) is available in darker and lighter variants. It is essentially a combination of refined organic sugar and organic molasses, which means that it offers the health benefits offered by both products. Organic light brown sugar contains 2-3% molasses, while organic dark brown sugar contains almost 6% molasses.
- Organic Powdered Sugar: Organic powdered sugar is a highly refined, superfine sugar. It is commonly used in baked goods just like regular powdered sugar. However, what sets it apart is that manufacturers swap out cornflour for tapioca starch as a thickener in organic powdered sugar. As a result, it has a richer, deeper, and more intense taste and flavour than the chalky texture of regular powdered sugar.
- Organic Sugar Substitute: As more individuals are stepping away from traditional sugar and looking for organic sugar substitutes, there is a demand for products like stevia and erythritol.
- Organic Liquid Sugar Syrup: As the name indicates, liquid sugar syrup is a blend of organic raw sugar and water to create golden syrup or invert syrup.
Organic vs Regular Sugar
Here is a comparison between organic and regular sugar:
Contrary to popular belief, organic sugar does not necessarily mean unrefined sugar. In fact, unrefined raw sugar is not safe or fit for direct consumption and hence must undergo some amount of refining.
While organic sugar does undergo multi-stage refining process, it is less processed than regular sugar. On the other hand, table sugar undergoes processes like phosphatation, sulphitation, and carbonation that involves chemicals, such as lime, to decolourise the crystals and make them pure white.
|Non-Organic Refined Sugar|
|Organic Turbinado Sugar|
|Calories||385 kCal||399 kCal|
|Water||0.02 grams||0.03 grams|
|Carbohydrates||99.6 grams||99.8 grams|
|Sucrose||99.8 grams||99.19 grams|
|Calcium||1 mg||12 mg|
|Iron||0.05 mg||0.37 mg|
|Magnesium||0.3 mg||2 mg|
|Potassium||2 mg||29 mg|
|Sodium||1 mg||3 mg|
|Manganese||0.0004 mg||0.046 mg|
From the above comparison, it becomes clear that organic sugar not only contains a lesser concentration of sucrose but is also rich in trace minerals, making it a healthier option.
In terms of sweetness, both organic and non-organic sugar possesses a similar flavour profile. However, it is the presence of trace minerals and molasses that imparts a full-bodied flavour to organic sugar.
So while non-organic refined sugar possesses plain sweetness, organic sugar is sweet but distinct flavour and aroma. Plus, it is devoid of any chemicals that are otherwise used to treat and process sugar. Thus, organic sugar is well-known for its warm, rich caramelisation and earthy flavour.
Health Benefits of Organic Sugar
By now, it must have become abundantly clear that organic sugar is healthier than regular sugar. Here’s an overview of the many health benefits that organic sugar offers:
- Organic sugar does not contain any chemical residue or toxic agents that may harm the body.
- Regular refined sugar has a GI of 80, while organic sugar has a GI of 47, which means that the former is better for blood sugar management.
- Organic sugar is loaded with minerals, such as iron, which makes it a healthier alternative for those suffering from anaemia.
- Since organic sugar is a result of organic farming, it is more eco-friendly and leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint.
It has been established that organic sugar justifies its price and is well worth your money. However, do bear in mind that even though organic sugar may be a healthier alternative to your regular refined sugar, you should consume it in controlled amounts.