What is Brown Sugar? – Its Uses, Functions, Advantages, Side Effects, Commercial Production

What is Brown Sugar?

Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive pale golden to dark brown in colour due to the presence of molasses in it. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar), or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar (commercial brown sugar).

Molasses are added to white sugar to make it coloured & lessen the production cost of sugar. Natural brown sugar is available in three types – Turbinado, Muscovado and Demerara. It is used as flavouring and colouring agent by food industries.

Brown sugar interacts with molecules of protein or starch during baking and cooking process. It caramelizes under heat, to provide cooked and baked foods with pleasing colour and aroma.

Synonyms: Natural brown sugar, raw sugar, whole cane sugar, Bakers sugar.

Commercial Production of Brown Sugar:

  • Brown sugar is produced by adding sugarcane molasses to completely refined white sugar crystals to reduce manufacturing costs.
  • Brown sugar prepared in this manner is often much coarser than its unrefined equivalent and its molasses may be easily separated from the crystals by simply washing.
  • It must be free of water vapours and must be stored in air tight container.

Uses of Brown Sugar:

  • Brown sugar is used in baking process.
  • It adds flavour and colour to baked foods.
  • It is used as an additive in cakes and muffins.
  • It is used in confectionary industry.
  • It helps to prevent spoilage of jellies.
  • It enhances the flavour of ice-creams.
  • It is used in manufacturing of cookies.
  • It is used as an additive for preparing marinades, which are then used for meat dishes.
  • It is also used to make some alcoholic beverages.
  • It is also added in various ketchups and sauce because of its colouring property.
  • It soothes menstrual pain in women.
  • It is taken by humans as it has anti-aging properties.
  • It is used as skin extra-foliating agent by various cosmetics industries.

Advantages of Brown Sugar:

  • Brown sugar contains low calorific value as compared to white sugar.
  • Brown sugar is a good source of various ions for e.g. Magnesium, Calcium, Iron.
  • It is in-expensive and easily available in various variants.

Disadvantages of Brown Sugar:

  • Brown sugar gets hardened up if stored for a long period of time.
  • It can enhance blood glucose level.

Side-effects of taking excess dose of Brown Sugar:

  • Brown sugar can enhance the blood sugar level of humans.

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