There's a ton of different sweeteners out there today, but two of the OGs are cane sugar (commonly referred to as sugarcane) and brown sugar. Both are used in various food and drink recipes, but what's the difference between the two? Let's find out.
Sugarcane refers to the raw form of all sugar, before it's gone through a refinement process. Both white and brown sugar come from sugarcane, a grass that is cut, milled and refined in order to make various forms of sugar.
Natural Brown Sugar
There is a type of sugar that has a brown color which is typically called turbinated sugar or "sugar in the raw." It is the least harmful type of sugar because it hasn't been bleached or given unnatural ingredients. It naturally contains molasses, which is where the brown color comes from and contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Most sugar becomes white because of a bleaching process. White sugar goes through a full refinement process, where it is stripped of any nutritional value it may have had. This kind of sugar also contains molasses, but the natural brown color goes away during the refinement process.
Brown sugar is not as detrimental to a person's health as white sugar because in most cases it hasn't been refined (or as processed), which essentially means stripped of any possible nutrients like the ones mentioned above. Brown sugar still shouldn't be consumed in large quantities, but raw sugar has less calories than pure white sugar.
Ron Augustine is a rookie freelance writer and producer who has worked primarily in radio and print media for Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions, Relevant Magazine, WMBI Chicago and the Burnside Writers Collective. He graduated Moody College in 2007 with a degree in Communications.