Cane Sugar Vs. Brown Sugar

By Ron Augustine

Cane sugar (commonly referred to as sugarcane) and brown sugar are both sweeteners used in various food and drink recipes. Sugarcane refers to the raw form of sugar, before it has gone through a refinement process.

Woman making preserves
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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.


All sugarcane has molasses in it already, which is what gives brown and turbinated sugar its color.

White Sugar

Sugar becomes white because of a bleaching process. White sugar goes through a full refinement process.


Brown sugar is not as detrimental to a person's health as white sugar is. Brown sugar still shouldn't be consumed in large quantities, but raw sugar has less calories than pure white sugar.