Is brown sugar gluten free – for all those of you who are allergic to gluten and looking for a gluten-free diet, it is important to know if brown sugar is gluten-free and a good option to use in baked goods and desserts. There has always been a lingering doubt if brown sugar is healthier than white sugar, and the question is, is brown sugar gluten free for all those keen to know the health benefits of sugar products?
Is brown sugar gluten free? Brown sugar is gluten-free because it is white sugar mixed with molasses. Pure sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and is always gluten-free. There is no harmful gluten protein, but there can be instances when sugar is harmful. Since brown sugar is gluten-free, it is good for all who have Celiac disease.
Usually, three types of brown sugar that are available from sugar cane are commonly seen in stores. One is a golden color and light flavor with 2% to 3% molasses, then the dark color and rich flavor with more molasses, around 6% to 8%, and the pourable, which has around 2% to 3% molasses.
The light and dark brown sugar differ in the amount of added molasses in them. Light brown sugar contains fewer molasses, and brown sugar is a combination of granulated sugar and molasses. That makes it a good substitute for molasses, and if you want to avoid gluten, you can always make your brown sugar.
Is brown sugar gluten free – Brown sugar is partially refined sugar with some molasses content left over from the refining process. The brown shade of the sugar is determined by the amount of molasses in it. The presence of molasses differentiates white sugar from brown sugar, and that is also the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar.
Brown sugar is not healthier than white sugar, and though it has a gluten-free label, it has the same calories as white sugar. That will make you think, is brown sugar gluten free, and is it suitable for all those on a gluten-free diet?
Brown sugars go by different names in different countries; for instance, in India, it goes by the name jaggery; in Japan, it is called kokuto, and panela in Colombia. Different types of brown sugar are available in the market, and it will not disappoint you if you have a sweet tooth and want to use it in baked goods instead of artificial sweeteners. Then again, we go back to the question, is brown sugar gluten free, and the answer is yes, it is.
Imperial Sugar is a popular sugar brand with good quality pure cane sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, free-flowing sugar, sugar-shakers, and Steviacane. They also have gluten-free and safe sugar products for all those following a gluten-free diet. Is brown sugar gluten free, all popular brands of brown sugar gluten-free?
Types of Brown Sugar
There are many types of brown sugar in the market, and you will be curious to know which one is a good brand. There is also a curiosity to know if is brown sugar gluten free. Let us look at the different types of brown sugar available and how they differ from each other.
Raw Brown Sugar
The light brown and dark brown sugar we see in supermarkets and grocery stores is raw cane sugar obtained from freshly harvested cane. Light brown sugar contains lesser molasses, and dark brown sugar contains about 8 percent molasses.
Raw brown sugar is made directly from cane juice after the juice is extracted and clarified. The juice is concentrated and undergoes a single crystallization process. This process can be similar to that of a washing machine spin cycle and some of the molasses remaining during this cycle.
Paraguay is the leading exporter of organic raw brown sugar, and the only one available in the United States is the Florida Crystals brand of brown sugar.
Refined Brown Sugar
Most of the brown sugar in the market is brown, and the shade of brown and flavor vary depending on how much molasses is in them. Refined brown sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, or it can be a combination.
Refined brown sugar is made in refineries using crude raw sugar, not directly produced from cane juice. The process begins with removing impurities in the raw sugar by remelting and filtering.
There are 3 different methods to make refined brown sugar: crude raw sugar is used and not juice. They are the Crystallization Method, Coated or Painted Method, and the CoCrystallization Method.
The brown sugar crystal is brown in the Crystallization method. In this method, raw sugar is dissolved, then concentrated, and recrystallized. Once a thick brown paste is formed with sugar crystals, it is centrifuged, but some molasses remain.
Brown sugar from sugar beets is made using the painted and coated method. In this method, the brown in the brown sugar is only on the outside. It is just the usual sugar crystal with some molasses on the exterior.
In the CoCrystallization Method, the refined sugar crystals are cocrystallized with cane syrup. The sugar that comes out from this procedure will have many tiny crystals, and they are all held together in a sponge-like system by the syrup. This sugar is lighter than the other sugars and has less moisture. The other name this refined sugar goes is Brownulated® Sugar, Brown Sugar, and Molasses Granules. This refined sugar does not harden, and it is easy to use.
Unrefined Brown Sugar
Unrefined brown sugar has the same sweetness as white sugar; the only difference is that it has higher molasses content than light brown and dark brown sugars. Unrefined brown sugars are not as smooth as refined brown sugar; they will be like small clumps of sugar crystals.
Recipe to Make Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 cup granulated sugar
Take a bowl or food processor and mix the only two ingredients, one tablespoon of molasses and one cup of granulated sugar. Make sure they are well blended. Store brown sugar in an air-tight container, and use it as one of your baking ingredients while trying out baking recipes. Wholesome sweeteners with organic molasses are good, and there are a few brands available in the market which you can check out.
Myths About Brown Sugar
There are a lot of myths revolving around brown sugar, which makes people use them instead of the popular brands of white sugar that are available in the market.
- Do not substitute a brown sugar recipe with white sugar
- Brown sugar is high in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
- Brown sugar is healthy when compared to white sugar
- You have to throw away brown sugar if it gets hard and clumpy, and if there is contamination
In The End
The above post will help us know in-depth about brown sugar and the question of is brown sugar gluten free. Many gluten-free recipes use brown sugar in case you are allergic to gluten. You need to double-check the requirements in the recipes and if they are gluten-free or labeled gluten-free.
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