Raw organic sugar vs. white sugar

Written by fred wood
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Raw organic sugar vs. white sugar
Raw sugar is more healthful than refined white sugar. (sugar image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

There seems to be a bigger push on health-conscious foods, compared with a few years ago. If you walk down a grocer's aisle, you may begin to notice that many products say they are all-natural or made with natural sugars. Soft drink companies are beginning to make soda made out of raw organic sugar, bakeries are selling all-natural cupcakes and even some recipes are calling for raw organic sugar. While raw organic sugar and refined white sugar both sweeten, they are very different.


Raw sugar and white sugar look different. Raw sugar is a brownish-yellow colour, and white sugar has no colour. The two have different appearances because raw sugar keeps its brown colour from the molasses in the sugar cane. When manufacturers make white sugar, they bleach the raw sugar to remove the colour.

How It's Made

Raw and white sugars are made differently. Raw sugar is made by a co-crystallisation process that helps it keep its colour and flavour. To make raw sugar, manufacturers press the sugar cane to release its juices, according to TheReluctantEater.com. Those juices are then mixed with lime. Through the process of evaporation, the liquid mixture is reduced. The sugar crystals are now separated using a tool called a centrifuge that separates the liquid from the solids. The sugar dries some more, and the granules are produced.

White sugar, on the other hand, is not only bleached, but manufacturers use other chemicals to make it. While the process of making white sugar varies, sulphur dioxide is used to bleach the sugar and turn it white. Most white sugar manufacturers produce it by mixing the raw sugar syrup with a heavy syrup. Next, they use a centrifuge to remove the outer layer of the raw sugar crystals. Several chemicals are added, including calcium hydroxide, which helps absorb the impurities. Manufacturers then filtrate what is left through carbon to completely take out the molasses. The sugar is then crystallised under a vacuum and then dried.


Raw sugar is exactly what its name implies. It is more healthful because it is free of chemicals. It does not have any chemicals added to it in the production process. It does not contain any of the sometimes harmful additives in white sugar, such as preservatives, sulphur dioxide, phosphoric acid, bleaching agents or formic acid. White sugar is made using several chemical additives, including sulphur.

Nutritional Value

Raw sugar has some nutrients. On average, every 100g of raw sugar contains 187 mg of calcium, 4.8 mg of iron, 757 mg of potassium, 56 mg of phosphorous and 97 mg of sodium, according to sweetadditions.net. White sugar does not contain any nutrients. Raw sugar also contains slightly fewer calories than white sugar because raw sugar still contains some of its natural moisture from water. One hundred 100g of raw sugar has 373 calories on average, compared with 396 calories in white sugar.

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