Mascavo, demerara or crystal?  6 types of sugar and their differences

Mascavo, demerara or crystal? 6 types of sugar and their differences

Sugar is a type of simple carbohydrate that is usually obtained from sugar cane, but can also be produced from beets, for example. Its function is primarily to add sweetness to drinks and food.

With a very long history (sugar cane was already used in Asia 6,000 years ago to add sweetness to food), it has been cultivated for centuries. Whether you are looking for a healthier life or the impossibility of planting sugar cane, you can find different sugars today. Here are 6 of them and their specifics.

1. Brown sugar

Brown is the version of sugar in which it is raw. This means that it has not undergone any process of chemical refining, which makes it brown or gold in color. It is always good to be aware that you will find brands that are mixtures of brown sugar with crystal sugar, not different versions.

Brown sugar preserves some of its vitamins, calcium, iron and mineral salts, in addition to preserving cane molasses, ensuring a stronger taste. Its texture is moist and sandy, and its unique taste makes it more than a great substitute for the refined type, but also a basic ingredient in gastronomy.

2. Confectionery sugar

(Source: Unsplash)(Source: Unsplash)

Also called powdered sugar, powdered sugar is finer than refined and contains a kind of additive in its composition that guarantees greater lightness. Close up, reminiscent of some kind of talc or flour.

It is a type of sugar that is used mainly in bakery and confectionery production, because due to its characteristics it adheres very well to the surfaces of bread and sweets. It is also desirable for making whipped cream, toppings and glazes. With a name like that, it can’t be any different, can it?

3. Coconut sugar

The current favorite, coconut sugar, a substance extracted from the juice of coconut palm flowers, is very nutritionally rich, although its caloric value does not differ much from other species. It is an excellent source of B vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

It contains dietary fiber called inulin, which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. As its glycemic index is lower, it helps maintain low blood sugar. There are those who claim that “it is not sweetened as refined”, but it is a question of palate education.

4. Demerara sugar

With a very high nutritional value, very similar to brown sugar, demerara sugar is slightly refined but does not receive any chemical additives. Its pods are light brown in color and have a subtle molasses flavor.

It is used in confectionery to make toppings for pastries such as muffins and cookies, while for sweetening it is more common in hot beverages such as coffee and tea. Now, unlike coconut, demerara is a sugar with a high glycemic index, which means that it should be consumed wisely.

5. Crystal sugar

One of the most commonly consumed in Brazilian homes, crystal sugar is a type with large and irregular crystals. They vary from transparent to slightly yellow in color, and are the result of the process of purification, evaporation, crystallization and drying of sugar cane juice. Due to this method of production it loses a lot of minerals and vitamins.

This is the preferred type of food industry when it comes to offering different versions. With the addition of artificial colors, you can easily find crystal in many colors like blue, pink and orange. However, make no mistake, it changes color, the product is the same.

6. Refined sugar

(Source: Pexes)(Source: Pexes)

The old war, present in most homes in our country, refined sugar is a type obtained from crystal sugar. During refining, the crystalline sugar dissolves by being clarified and filtered.

The method is difficult and involves the addition of chemical additives such as sulfur, in order to obtain a white color. It turned out that in this process, almost all vitamins and minerals are extracted along the way, leaving almost exclusively sucrose.

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