Whole cane sugar: properties, calories, nutritional values

Sugar, or sucrose, is in itself a disaccharide which greatly affects human metabolism; the whole cane sugar it contains a lower percentage of sucrose than normal sugar and is richer in nutrients, let's find out together.

> 1. What is whole cane sugar

> 2. How the extraction takes place

> 3. Calories, nutritional values ​​and properties of whole cane sugar

> 4. Curiosities about whole cane sugar



What is whole cane sugar

Whole cane sugar, derives from sugar cane, or Saccharum officinarum in botany, a tropical plant of the Poaceae family, with a very sweet and juicy marrow: just think that as much as 14% of its stem is made up of sugary substances.

It is a plant mainly grown in Central and South America, but also in islands such as Mauritius and Barbados, whose population is often subjected to harsh market laws for the production of the same.

For this reason, whole cane sugar is often found among the products of fair trade and, compared to traditional sugar, it has a slightly higher cost.

Its color is dark, the grains are small and irregular, with a soft consistency and a peculiar and intense smell, its properties are better than white beet sugar.


How is cane sugar extracted?

produce whole cane sugar, the sugar cane is cut, remove the leaves with the machete (for this a lot of labor is required) and then squeezed and the juice (a syrup called molasses which contains up to 15% sucrose) thus obtained is concentrated by boiling.

This juice is then dried into sticks (hence the term panela, one of the types of brown sugar), grated or dried and mixed (the type brown precisely that it is mixed and shaken) until it is crushed into grains.

Unlike common white sugar, often obtained from beet, not cane, brown sugar does not undergo (or partially undergoes) chemical refining.

With 12 tons of sugar cane, the production yield is around 1 ton of brown sugar. Vegetable residues are used in the paper industry or as a fuel.


White sugar or brown sugar: which one to use


Calories, nutritional values ​​and properties of whole cane sugar

From a nutritional point of view it has a excellent energy value and supply of mineral salts of which white sugar is severely lacking.

In fact, here are the average nutritional values ​​(to be more precise, the type of sugar should be considered) for 100 grams of whole cane sugar: 

  • energy value ranging from 275 Kcal and 350 Kcal, against the 395kcal of sucrose,
  • 85mg of calcium,
  • 140 mg of potassium,
  • other minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, fluorine, zinc,
  • the vitamins it contains are vitamin A and vitamin C and some of the B group.

The glycemic and insulemic index it is lower because it is not very refined. Not being chemically refined, whole cane sugar is therefore considered healthier than other types of sugar. In fact, it retains more nutrients and has a much more intense and characteristic flavor. 

Be careful not to confuse whole cane sugar with normal cane or raw sugar: the latter has in fact large and regular grains, refined and then artificially colored with caramel E150c, an artificial coloring, or with molasses.

It can be said that, in general and refined or not, cane, raw or white, the use of sugar should be limited and in any case not used inappropriately, perhaps preferring other natural sweeteners.

Of the two types, a kitchen, the muscovado it can be used to sweeten herbal teas or tea, it goes well with fruit and cakes, as well as to cook sweet and sour dishes. It is suitable for those who love strong aromas and flavors.

Il panela, less intense as a scent, has a more floury consistency, it is used for many things, but above all for foods and drinks with a delicate taste, as it does not cover the flavors.


Curiosities about cane sugar

If you find yourself in India, if you notice an unmistakable sweet smell in the street, look around: surely there is a sugar cane squeezer in action that sells the sweet juice to passers-by.

In Europe, sugar cane is and has been grown in Spain (in the area between Malaga and Motril in Andalusia), in Sicily (recently it was proposed to reintroduce its cultivation in the plain of Catania), in Cyprus and Malta. 

Being rich in glycolic acid, brown sugar is typically a excellent ally for the skin, natural efoliant and antiseptic. Furthermore, that of whole cane does not affect the formation of cavities, think of the very healthy white teeth of South American or Indian children who often suck the juice!


> Sweeten without harming yourself

> Whole cane sugar, the types


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