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Types Of Sugar

Updated on October 22, 2011

Sugar is basically a sweet soluble carbohydrate which can be a monosaccharide (simple sugars like fructose or glucose), disaccharides or polysaccharides like sucrose which is used commercially.

The sucrose that is used commercially is produced by two methods:

  • By crushing the stems of sugar cane. This produces molasses, thick sweet sugary syrup which then under goes different stages of refinery and purification to give it a clear solid crystal stage.
  • By crushing the beet roots and fermenting it. This produces molasses accompanied with the release of alcohol as a by-product.

In market various forms of sugar are available. Mainly it is either sold in solid form or in the form of syrups. Most commonly it is used in its solid form.  Basically there are two major types of sugar: white sugar and brown sugar. These types of sugars are sold in many forms in market.

Raw untreated sugar.
Raw untreated sugar.

White Sugar

White sugar is sold in following forms:

Raw Sugar

Raw sugar as the name suggests is a raw form of solid sugar. It still contains some of the molasses and it is not refined to a point where it completely crystallizes to form clear solid white crystals of sugar.

Because of its semi liquid and solid state raw sugar has a unique taste but it is not as common as other kinds of sugar.

Granulated Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Powdered sugar
Powdered sugar

Granulated Sugar

It is the most common type of sugar used. This is the pure crystallized form sugar consisting of large white solid crystals.

It is sold as cubes or caster sugar which consists of comparatively smaller white crystals. It is the sugar that we use to make every sweet dish and is the most common sweetener in the world.

Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar or the icing sugar is another common type of sugar which is basically the granulated sugar crushed to a point when its crystals reduce to a powder form.

This powdered sugar is mixed with corn starch and sold in the market as the icing sugar. This sugar is commonly used in frosting recipes and for the making of cake icings.

Coarse or decorating sugar on cupcakes
Coarse or decorating sugar on cupcakes
Demerara Sugar
Demerara Sugar

Coarse Sugar

Coarse sugar is more of a decorating sugar and used less as an ingredient for a sweet dish. It has large rounded crystals produced artificially. Coarse sugar is sold in different colors in the market.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is completely different from the above-mentioned sugars. It is brown in color and moist in texture.

It is produced from the molasses extracted from the sugar cane and does not go through different stages of refinery and crystallization. It also has fewer calories as compared to the white sugars.

There are many types of brown sugar available in the market but mainly there are two forms: moist powdered form or in solid form.

The moisture in the brown sugars runs out if exposed to air and it dries out to form hard brown stones of sugar. It is commonly used in India where it is called ‘jaggery’ or ‘gur’.

Following are the different forms of brown sugar:

Demerara Sugar

Demerara brown sugar is the most commonly used form of brown sugar. It is light brown in color and has large golden brown crystals.

It has a slightly sticky texture as some of the molasses is still adhere to the crystals. It is used commonly as a sweetener for tea, coffee and many liquid drinks.

Muscovado Sugar left and regular brown sugar right.
Muscovado Sugar left and regular brown sugar right.

Muscovado Sugar

Muscovado sugar is a special British brown sugar which is very dark in color.

This brown sugar just like the Demerara sugar has a sticky texture but unlike the Demerara it has a strong flavor of molasses. Also it is a bit stickier and its crystals are coarser.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar has a light brown color and is mild as compared to the other types of brown sugar neither does it have a very sticky texture. This is the raw form of brown sugar.

Free Flowing Brown Sugar or Sticky Browns

Brown sugar is also available in liquid form known as sticky browns or free flowing browns. It is basically a purified form of molasses.

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      Lottie 5 years ago

      this helped a lot for homework thanks