How Sweet it is…

14 Jul

We are working on making sense the controversy surrounding the use of Evaporated Cane Juice in place of regular Granulated Sugar.  Here’s what I’ve got so far… so please feel free to jump in with your own info.  We would love to hear your opinion about whether the less refined product is worth the extra price.  I just know that working with the ECJ is so similar to sugar that recipes come out perfect – plus the ECJ smells like strawberries!

Both sugar and evaporated cane juice are derived from sugar cane; the difference between the two is found primarily in the refinement process that each undergoes. White sugar goes through a series of refinement steps that remove color and many nutrients.  Unlike refined sugar, evaporated cane juice retains some vitamins and minerals, mainly due to the retention of molasses as well as the decreased amount of processing. Moreover, it is different from straight sugar as evaporated cane juice retains its fructose, glucose and sucrose whereas sugar is solely sucrose. Measure for measure, it contains the same caloric content – 1 teaspoon = 16 calories however, because of its processing it is sweeter tasting than refined sugar, so the potential to use less offers the ability to save calories.

We’ve heard from people who follow a vegan diet that granulated sugar is actually not vegan.  In granulated sugar refining, the clarified syrup is decolorized by filtration through activated carbon. Bone char is traditionally used in this role. Some remaining color-forming impurities absorb to the carbon. The purified syrup is then concentrated to supersaturation and repeatedly crystallized in a vacuum, to produce white refined sugar.  So the ECJ doesn’t go through this last step.

Evaporated cane juice is not without critics. Some fear that the nutrients provided are minuscule in comparison with the potential adverse side effects. Although evaporated cane juice does harbor more nutrients than sugar, it’s important to note that both are still high in sucrose, which when consumed excessively is stored in the body as fat or blood triglycerides. Thus, evaporated cane juice can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.  The tricky part is “moderation”…

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One Response to “How Sweet it is…”

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  1. Tweets that mention How Sweet it is… | Blackmarketbakery's Blog -- Topsy.com - July 14, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Francis J Jimenez, Rachel Klemek. Rachel Klemek said: http://wp.me/pZtTl-g http://fb.me/Ch9LYPwI […]

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