Evaporated cane sugar is supposed to be a less-processed, more nutritional alternative to white sugar and brown sugar. Refining white and brown sugar reduces sugar cane or sugar beets to pure sugar, leaving behind none of the nutrients previously contained in the plant. Evaporated cane sugar keeps some of the nutrients inherent in sugar cane by skipping the majority of those refining stages.
Sugar cane must be milled the same day it is gathered since it is extremely degradable. The cane is washed and shredded in a plant adjacent to the fields, and the liquid taken from the cane is dried to generate “raw” sugar. Because raw sugar includes a variety of impurities, it should not be confused with the product of the same name that is available on market shelves. Selling sugar with impurities is against food rules. Thus, extra processing is required before a viable product is formed. Raw sugar is refined into white sugar by boiling it, passing it through a carbon or membrane filtration system, drying it, and milling it into crystals. The finished product comprises 99.6% sucrose. Brown sugar is refined white sugar with 7% to 14% molasses added for flavor and color variation.
There are several “less-refined” or “natural” sugar products on the market, but they must all meet basic purification standards in order to be marketed in the United States. Although evaporated cane sugar, or evaporated cane juice, is the crystallized remnants of sap collected from sugar cane, the sap must still be filtered and purified before it can be evaporated. Most businesses are secretive about the techniques they utilize to generate their products. On the website of one of the leading producers of evaporated cane sugar, for example, they depict the company’s process from harvest to shelf. Still, they lightly skim over the refining process as “purification” and “filtration” without clarifying by what specific methods the plant purifies and refines the sugar before it is evaporated.
As it was only recently that refining technology was invented that established techniques of processing sugarcane to generate white, refined sugar, the history of Evaporated cane sugar is essentially parallel to the history of sugar. For most of history, the sweetener of choice for all societies that employed sugarcane was Evaporated cane sugar.
Sugarcane domestication dates back to around 10,000 years ago in New Guinea. This plant moved westward over the world, becoming popular in India. Yet, it was not until the Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century, having learned from the Indians the secrets of how to turn sugarcane into sugar, that sugar began its growth throughout Europe.
The color, size, shape, and molasses content of the sugar produced varied based on the processing processes utilized and the preference of the location in which it was produced. Columbus is credited with introducing sugar to the New World, and European governments swiftly established sugarcane growing in their colonies in South America and the Caribbean Islands.
Sugar refineries were created in the previous several centuries, and there was a shift toward the production of refined sugar, sometimes known as “white gold.” Because of a rising emphasis on whole foods and nutrition in the United States, there has only recently been a revived interest in these more natural and less processed forms of sugar cane.
Although calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium are retained in evaporated cane sugar products, the amount of minerals in each serving size is quite minimal. If you want less processed sugar with a lesser environmental imprint, try evaporated cane sugar. But remember that it is still sugar and not a healthy food.
A high-sugar diet increases your chances of being overweight and developing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Recommendation from the FDA
In 2009, the FDA advised food manufacturers to discontinue using the term “Evaporated cane sugar” on their labels. The FDA judged the usage of the name deceptive to consumers since the sap from which sugars are generated is not, in any practical sense, juice. They also used maple syrup and sorghum as examples of products that cannot be called “juice.” For example, you would not find the words “evaporated maple juice” or “concentrated maple juice ” on a bottle of maple syrup.”
Final thoughts and a few suggestions
Evaporated cane sugar is a better option than refined sugar. While both sweeteners are created from sugar cane, evaporated cane juice is not processed as thoroughly as refined sugar. As a result, it preserves more of the nutrients inherent in sugar cane than refined sugar. Cane juice is accessible all year round.
When sweetening coffee or tea, use Evaporated cane sugar instead of sugar. Muddle fresh mint leaves, limes, and cane juice in a mixing bowl and add to sparkling water to produce a non-alcoholic version of the iconic Cuban cocktail, the mojito. In baking, substitute cane juice for refined sugar. Broil a sliced grapefruit with cane juice on top. Enjoy one of the traditional “cinnamon toast” recipes for kids, but with a healthy twist. Pour flaxseed oil over whole wheat bread, followed by cinnamon and cane juice. In the end, we’d like to suggest you read our blog on treating nausea with Sprite. You’ll find it quite informative.