Difference Between Raw Sugar and White Sugar

Main Difference

The main difference between raw sugar and white sugar is that raw sugar is present in unrefined form and white sugar is available in refined form.

Raw Sugar vs. White Sugar

Raw sugar is 96% sucrose with molasses, and white sugar is 100% sucrose with all of the molasses removed. Unrefined raw sugar is natural because it contains natural nutrients and minerals, but these nutrients are refined stripped from white sugar. Raw sugar is not treated with chemicals to refined; white sugar is treated with different chemicals to attain its clear crystal refined form. Sugar is boiled with molasses to increase its molasses quantity to make raw sugar. But white sugar is boiled to stripped remaining molasses. One teaspoon of raw sugar contains a trace of calcium, iron, and potassium barely, but a teaspoon of white sugar doesn’t have any measurable traces of minerals. The color of raw sugar is not removed and remains the same; the color of white sugar is removed. The light brown color of raw sugar is due to the presence of molasses, and the white color of sugar is indicated that it is free from molasses. Raw sugar is the residues left after sugar cane, and if this sugar is passed through the process of refining crystals of white sugar is obtained. Raw sugar is rich in carbohydrates, and white sugar is also sometimes said to be empty carbohydrates because all nutrients were stripped off. Raw sugar contains about 5-10% molasses and white sugar us free from molasses. Due to natural its hygroscopic property, brown sugar is also known as soft sugar. White sugar does not have this property. Raw sugar has slightly higher moisture content, and white sugar has very less moisture content.

Comparison Chart

Raw sugarWhite sugar
Also called as “turbinado sugar”Also known as “table sugar”
Present In
Unrefined formRefined form
Have
Nutritional contentDoes not have nutritional content
Appearance
Brown in colorColorless so-called as white sugar
Solubility
Not blend easily and still retainsEasily melts and blends into beverages

What is Raw Sugar?

Raw sugar is unrefined made from the juice of the sugarcane plant. Raw sugar has higher nutritional value because it has the same vitamin and mineral viscosity as sugarcane plant juice. Raw sugar is brown because of the presence of molasses, residues of sugarcane after refining that contains a large number of important vitamins and minerals. With rising health issues like obesity and diabetes in the western and as well as in Asian countries, it is vital to think about what type and how much quantity of sugar is used. A large amount of sugar in your diet is not good, but using white sugar will make this matter alarming. So prefer natural ways to add sweetness in your life, e.g., raw sugar, honey, etc. The mixing of white sugar crystals with many amounts of molasses results in a soft and lumpy product known as brown sugar. The amount of molasses depends on the producer. You can expect light brown sugar to contain 3.5 percent molasses. Dark brown sugar may contain 6.5 percent molasses. Brown sugar adds moisture to make a softer texture and imparts the taste of molasses to recipes. In sugar mills, sugar cane firstly grinds and press to extract the sweet juices from it. Granules are formed in the form of crystals known as raw sugar. After that, the process of filtration and hot washes are performed. By vacuum drying product leaves golden brown color, sweet in taste, have nutritional value and free from calories.

What is White Sugar?

Different chemicals are used to bleach the sugar for refining process and to remove impurities. In the refining process, white sugar is made of sugar cane, or sugar beets give the mildest flavor. It easily blends in warm or cold water and is preferred for baking. As white sugar is heavily processed, so it has no nutritional value and said to be as empty calories. Refined sugar upraises the level of sugar in the blood that causes diabetes. Refined white sugar is not a healthy choice for diet because while refining process potential harmful ingredients are added to the sugar. For refining process, sugar and molasses mixture encounter for washings with hot water and separation through centrifugation and filtration process and natural white crystals are produced that are 99% sucrose. To make white sugar sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) is added to sugar cane juice before it gets evaporated. Sulfur dioxide does bleaching of the sugar cane juice and produces white sugar. After that, phosphoric acid, calcium hydroxide, and carbon dioxide are added to absorb remaining impurities. In the next step, this sugar cane juice is filtered through carbon bed and crystallized in a vacuum. Normally none of the impurities are left at the end of the refining process, leaving behind just clear white crystals. In the final step, these crystals are left to dry to get sugar crystals. In the final step, sugar can go to grinding machines to produce a variety of granules and in powder form for use in household and commercial cooking. White sugar is 99.9% sucrose.

Key Differences

  • Sugar cane boils only one time to make raw sugar, conversely for white sugar; sugar cane can boil several times to remove molasses.
  • Raw sugar is healthier, whereas white sugar is less healthy.
  • Raw sugar is not treated with chemicals to remove impurities; on the other hand; white sugar is treated with many chemicals.
  • Raw sugar has molasses on the flip side white sugar is free of molasses.
  • Raw sugar has high nutrients, while white sugar has less nutrient content.

Conclusion

It is concluded that raw sugar is healthier to consume as compared to white sugar.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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