Types of sugar

Types of sugar

Do you know how to differentiate each type of the most important ingredient in confectionery? Hey, it’s not worth mentioning just the three most famous ones – granulated, brown, icing. There are more than 10 product variations on the market. I will explain the characteristics of each one of them.
To begin with, that old story of “the darker the sugar, the less chemical intervention it has” is true. Therefore, it also has more vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It is that the additives, responsible for making sugar more beautiful and attractive, “steal” nutrients during the refining process. Well, to the definitions, then!
Brown sugar (Brown Sugar): Traditional brown sugar is a food obtained directly from the concentration of freshly extracted cane juice. This process eliminates the use of chemical additives for the bleaching and clarification process. Therefore, its color can vary from golden to dark brown, depending on the variety and the season of the year in which the cane is harvested.
As it does not go through the processes of other sugars, Mascavo is moist and maintains more mineral salts. It is also known for its striking flavor, similar to molasses. It is not so sweet, but it is used in cake and muffin recipes, especially chocolate ones, because it makes them wetter. In addition, it is used in the preparation of some caramel syrups and even breads.
Raw sugar (Demerara Sugar): Obtained after drying Mascavo, Demerara also has a slightly darkened, slightly yellowish color, and contains practically the same nutritional values. Its flavor is intense and the granules are larger, which makes it difficult to dissolve. It is used to make crepes.
Organic Sugar (Organic Sugar): It has the same sweetening power as refined, but does not have any artificial additives and is darker and thicker. The whole process of organic sugar is natural, from planting without fertilizers to industrialization. It is also more expensive than the others.
Refined sugar (Granulated Sugar): More common and popular, this is known as white sugar. Its granules are small and fine, they do not contain moisture like the Mascavo. During the manufacturing process, Refined sugar receives sulfur to make it white and tasty. However, at this stage it loses all nutrients. Ah, it can be found in cubes, the famous sugar lumps.
Icing Sugar (Confectioners, Powdered Sugar or Icing Sugar): As the name implies, it is the most used in confectionery for icing, syrup and whipped cream. Its crystals are so small and thin that they leave the texture soft and delicious.
Crystal Sugar (Sanding Sugar): Quite used in confectionery, too, but unlike Confectioner, Cristal sugar has the largest and most transparent crystals. After cooking, the refinement process removes 90% of the nutrients. As it melts well, it is used to make cakes.
Vanille Sugar: Contains a product called Vaniline, which gives the aroma and flavor of vanilla to sugar. Instead of buying ready-made, you can do it at home. In the episode of Bigode Na Cozinha, Dani taught the step by step of Vanilla sugar. Nhami!
Impalpable Sugar: It is even finer than confectioner’s sugar, as it is obtained by grinding it with more starch. Its texture looks almost like flour. Impalpable sugar is widely used in confectionery, especially in the making of macarons.
Light Sugar (Light Sugar): It is the combination of Refined sugar with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin or cyclamate. This makes it much more powerful when it comes to sweetening anything (sometimes it is four times sweeter than a measure of Refined!) And its caloric value is much lower.
Inverted Sugar (Trimoline): Gives softness and aroma to the product, usually cookies and candies. From the reaction of sucrose (common sugar) with water and heat, a process called hydrolysis occurs, that is: the sucrose molecule breaks down into glucose and fructose. When sucrose is added to this mixture, a syrup is formed, Inverted sugar.
It prevents the product from crystallizing, makes the texture softer and makes the food not dry out too fast. It is practically a “natural” preservative, widely used in ganaches, too.
Iced Sugar (Ice Sugar): It is widely used to sprinkle donuts, dreams, croissants and cakes. It does not melt and can be frozen; you will not lose your properties. It is produced with Dextrose, corn starch, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, titanium dioxide and flavoring.
Glucose (or Glucose): It is a syrup obtained from corn, grapes or even honey. It is very slimy and its freezing point is low. Therefore, it prevents the food to be prepared from crystallizing. Most common uses: marshmallows, nougats, ice cream, etc. In drinks like sodas, glucose is used to control excessively sweet taste.
The use and marketability of each type of sugar varies from country to country. Did you know all of these? Now just choose a recipe here on the site and have fun experimenting. (Always taking care of health, of course.)

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