ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jaggery - A Natural Sweetener With Health Benefits

Updated on September 22, 2019
hmkrishna profile image

The author is postgraduate in Botany and experienced in IPR handling as well as agribusiness management with an MBA, lives in a farmhouse.

Traditional Kolhapur jaggery package in India
Traditional Kolhapur jaggery package in India
A view of the unpacked jaggery block
A view of the unpacked jaggery block

It is as sweet as honey. Of course, natural honey is synonymous to the beloved. Next is the jaggery, which is also known by the names such as Panela, Rapadura, Chancaca, etc in Latin America and Piloncillo in Mexico.

Sugarcane farming

Towards the end of the winter season, the sugarcane will be ready for harvest. Mostly harvest of the sugarcane is started then the local jaggery making process also begins. Traditionally jaggery is manually prepared in the sugarcane farm households.

Sugarcane cultivation needs fertile soil and the addition of various inputs and plenty of water. Inputs include organic and inorganic fertilizers, plant protection chemicals as well as weeds removal cultivation. Some farmers start cultivation by the end of summer whereas some do it early. There are some pests and diseases troubling sugarcane farmers, important of which is the fungal red rot disease, which spoils the crop. Controlling soil alkalinity, bio amelioration treatment of seed setts, application of Pseudomonas fluorescence microbial formulations prevent the disease.

A good harvest of sugarcane means good income for farmers.

Tradition of jaggery

In rural households when a guest arrives at your premises, he or she will be welcomed by offering a few small pieces of jaggery and a full mug of clean drinking water. A person arriving tired or feeling fatigued after a strenuous journey, if eats a piece of jaggery along with water, will feel immediately refreshing, because of its energy, vitamins and minerals. In olden days it was a part of customary hospitality to offer pieces of jaggery and water to the guests.

A concoction of jaggery dissolved in water with little lemon juice and a pinch of black pepper powder is awesomely terrific tasting and makes anyone demand more for a thirst-quenching drink.


Now, due to the availability of clean sugar from the factories the dark appearing jaggery is less preferred. However, increased consciousness and healthy values of a natural product are trending among naturalists and herbal medicine lovers.
Easy to use jaggery powder is available in the market which is as convenient as sugar. Looking into the health benefits and growing natural product affinity by consumers, jaggery powder will be a new-age product.

Commercial production of jaggery is by boiling the sugarcane juice for about two and a half hours. Initially, the sugarcane juice producers froth while boiling. Sum of impurities will flow table and can be removed easily. Subsequent boiling forms thick consistency liquid jaggery. A small quantity of lime is added which helps the jaggery to solidify easily. Two and a half to three hours of boiling makes the consistency suitable to pour on the blocks to set. Upon pouring over the blocks by inverting the boiling vessel over it spreads and sets quickly. After complete solidification, the jaggery appears golden brown or yellow like a chocolate bar. Its fresh yummy taste creates a temptation to immediately have some. Blocks of jaggery are packed for marketing. Correctly set solid jaggery has a shelf life of about two years. Lesser consistency jaggery will be second quality and will spoil quickly and gets in mould quickly.

Good quality jaggery has a lot of market demand. Therefore, the industry is always enterprising. However, due to increasing labour cost and the price is diminishing year after year. Modern e-marketplace might support this traditional small scale industry in the future.

The sugarcane fields look green throughout the beautiful farming landscape in the growing areas. At the same time, sugarcane belt emits mouthwatering sweet smell throughout the post-harvest jaggery processing season.

Traditional Karnataka jaggery
Traditional Karnataka jaggery

Healthy natural organic jaggery

The healthiness of the jaggery depends on the production process. Since it is made manually without much intervention of machines, it has different quality each time it is made. Therefore, it strictly has no nutrition chart, but you can identify the origin of a particular kind of jaggery from a particular place based on the taste and its looks.
Naturally produced jaggery without the addition of caustic soda or sodium bicarbonate or calcium oxide is the best sweeteners available and are good for health. Due to its quality, it is used in Ayurvedic medicine preparation. It is next only to honey among the sweeteners naturally available.

Uniqueness of the product

Jaggery is better among other sweeteners because, it also contains minerals, vitamins and fibres. Because of fibre, it is good for the digestive system also. It contains the iron needed for the haemoglobin in the blood in some quantity. It has some minute amount of calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc and regular eating of jaggery prevents anaemia.

Traditional jaggery producing areas

Uttara Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are the major jaggery producing locations in India. Apart from India, jaggery is produced in other countries of the world. Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Africa, Australia are the other jaggery producing countries in the world.

Varieties of jaggery

There are wide varieties of jaggery prepared by the traditional jaggery makers. It includes pepper jaggery, ginger jaggery, cardamom jaggery, coconut jaggery, etc are few to name here. Best market commodity i the sugarcane jaggery. Next among the similar ones are coconut palm jaggery and palm jaggery. Palm jaggery may contain fermented contents and therefore not used for ritual uses. There is slight glycemic index variation among these jaggeries. However, diabetics may keep away from the jaggery as there is a possibility of blood sugar increase.

Recently, for the diabetics, Stevia was found suitable for sweetening edible products. Its cultivation is limited and has cultivation and plant protection challenges.

Final words

When rural homemade healthy traditions are available, it becomes quite logical to buy such products and enjoy the superior taste also. Jaggery is such a wonderful healthy product you can consider when you look for a food sweetener to buy, which will be really a sweet decision.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Halemane Muralikrishna


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)