Brown sugar is a sucrose type of sugar product characterized by a brown color which is present because of the molasses contained in it. Light brown sugar is known for containing up to 3.5 percent of molasses while its dark counterpart contains no more than 6.5 percent of molasses. These molasses are characterized by a rather hygroscopic nature so that is why brown sugar is commonly moist and sometimes referred to as soft. In some industrial products, brown sugar can be mixed in with dyes or other sorts of chemicals. The size of the particles is usually smaller than the size of particles of the granulated white sugar. It is very easy to create an equivalent of brown sugar simply by adding molasses to the ordinary table sugar. A tablespoon of molasses should be sufficient for each cup of sugar. During the nineteenth century the refined white sugar industry was newly consolidated and it did not have any control over the production of brown sugar. This is why they had an open campaign against the use of brown sugar which included the showing of harmless microbes from it which looked repulsive. The campaign was very effective so people usually stayed away from it. During the process of production of brown sugar the molasses are added to the crystals of the refined white sugar. This process is mainly based on beet sugar and it involves brown sugar which is much coarser. Molasses used for this process of production are commonly obtained from sugar cane because they have a much better flavor than the ones obtained from beet sugar. Molasses are highly efficient in masking the taste, odor and color differences which are characteristic for some types of refined white sugar.
Natural Brown Sugar
Natural brown sugar is derived from the very first process of crystallization used on the sugar cane. It is also sometimes referred to as raw sugar as it contains much more molasses and minerals than other types of sugar. There are certain types of natural brown sugar which are sold under different brand names such as Demerara, Muscovado or Turbinado. Quite often, these sugars get spun in a centrifuge so that all impurities and water get removed from them. Muscovado is the most famous type of dark brown sugar and its production does not involve putting it into a centrifuge. It is characterized by rather small crystals and it is often considered as rather damp sugar. It is highly beneficial because it retains all of the sugar’s natural minerals.
Brown sugar is often preferred over its white counterpart because it contains significantly less calories. This is mainly due to the fact that it contains much more water than white sugar. A 100 grams of brown sugar contains approximately 373 calories, while the same amount of white sugar contains somewhere around 396 calories. There is a slight misconception about the whole thing with calories because brown sugar may sometimes have even more calories than white sugar when measured by volume, due to the fact that its crystals are much smaller. Brown sugar is considered by many as a much healthier option because it contains much more sodium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium than its white counterpart.
White Sugar vs. Brown Sugar
Both brown and white sugar are used quite a lot in numerous households everywhere around the world for different culinary and other purposes. White sugar is commonly made from sugar cane or sugar beets and it is actually pure sucrose when it is in its granulated form. Different processing levels greatly affect the size of the crystals and the whiteness and the color of the sugar. Brown sugar is usually divided into two main categories which include the sticky brown sugar and the free flowing one. The amount of molasses or the syrup determines the color and the stickiness of the brown sugar. White sugar is usually used much more than brown sugar and it can be purchased in various different forms such as cubes, granules, free flowing form and tablets. There is also the Castor sugar which is characterized by a very fine texture and it dissolves instantly. It is commonly used in the preparation of various different types of drinks. Unlike white sugar, brown sugar is characterized by a very tender texture which is derived from the molasses. The darker the color of the sugar, the more molasses it contains. The darkness of the color also determines the intensity of the flavor. Brown sugar always needs to be packed in plastic bags because they are very efficient at keeping it soft and retaining its proper moisture. Brown sugar and white sugar also give different varieties of taste to various types of baked foods as well. Brown sugar is known for adding a richer flavor and a much more moist texture.