Posted 03-06-2003 at 05:30:50
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After the discussion yesterday on brown sugar, I wanted to find the for-sure answer.
Found a site maintained by the international sugar industry (sugar dot com, believe it or not) which had the whole story on the difference between brown and white sugar. No surprise, but basically we do thing different nowadays. Here's a "Reader's Digest" version, if anybody cares:
"....White sugar is essentially pure sucrose and there is no difference between that derived from cane and that from beet. Different manufacturers produce crystals of different sizes however and this leads to some apparent differences.
Brown sugars come in many different styles but are essentially one of two types: sticky browns and free-flowing browns. The sticky browns were originally the sort of mixture that comes out of a cane sugar crystallising pan. In modern refining practice both types are made by mixing a refined or at least purified sugar with a suitable syrup. The colour of the sugar and the syrup determines the colour of the final product and the ratio of syrup to sugar plus any drying applied determines whether the product is sticky or free-flowing."