Most forms of cane sugar are relatively old, with centuries of cultural tradition behind them. For example, beet sugar has its origin in the Napoleonic wars. The refined sugar with which most of us are familiar is deeply interwoven in Caribbean culture and slave trade’s long legacy.
In contrast, Sucanat is a relatively new product. It was developed in 1976 far from the tropics where sugar cane is grown. Sucanat was developed by a company based in Switzerland. The name comes from sucre de canne naturel , which translates to natural cane sugar. Sucanat is also sometimes referred to as Rapadura. Sucanat is evaporated cane juice, which means that it is not processed like regular cane sugar. The difference is between it and other similar raw sugars is the fact that it is made using a proprietary drying and aeration technique. Whether there are any other significant differences Sucanat and other cane sugars remains unclear.
Its Swiss inventor Albert Yersin wanted to offer a sugar that was healthier for teeth. He was influenced by the studies of Dr. Max-Henri Beguin, a pediatrician who was also from Switzerland. Beguin’s studies suggested that moderate sugar consumption did not increase the rate of tooth decay. His research was performed in India and surrounded the consumption of jaggery.
Beguin believed that along with consuming sugar in moderation, a person’s diet should also include unrefined foods. He believed that the rise in tooth decay came from the increased availability of refined flour and sugar. He posited that refined foods lacked minerals and vitamins that were essential for dental health.
Sucanat flavor profile
The fact that it contains a significant amount of natural molasses gives Sucanat a distinctive flavor. It is both more aromatic and flavorful than brown sugar, but has a similar flavor profile in that it provides deep caramel notes along with its sweetness.
Health benefits of Sucanat
Early advertising for Sucanat featured numerous claims about the sugar’s nutritional value. It was said to contain large amounts of both calcium and vitamin A. Albert Yersin’s company Pronatec claimed that Sucanat had larger amounts of calcium than broccoli and a similar amount of vitamin C as fresh tangerines. The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a complaint, which resulted in the maker adopting less dramatic rhetoric.
Sucanat is a raw sugar that undergoes less processing when compared to refined white sugar. It retains its natural molasses, which does give it a nutritional value not found in refined sugar. The molasses contains traces of nutrients, including potassium and calcium; however, those nutrients are in very small amounts. While they are present, their presence does not mean that Sucanat is a good source of them.
When considering the nutritional benefits of this sweetener, it is important to consider that it is a sugar. As such, its health benefits will be limited. This means that while moderate consumption will not normally pose a significant danger to health, excesses can cause a range of problems ranging from obesity to dental health issues and type 2 diabetes.
Common uses of Sucanat
Bone char is used in the processing of refining white sugar, which means that refined white sugar cannot be considered free of animal products. Sucanat does not require the use of bone char, which is why it is a popular option for vegan dishes. You can also use it in any application for which a raw sugar would be deemed appropriate This includes gingerbread, sweetening beverages, and in chocolate desserts.
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