As part of my "Sweetener Review Series," I write about one of the most widely available granulated sugar brands in the United States — the memorable and attractive Domino Sugar. Domino Sugar brand was born in 1901 when sugar was available in a shape that resembled dominoes.
Domino has a sister brand, C&H, which sells essentially the same cane sugar products. Both brands are available to consumers all over the country, but C&H is sold predominantly on the West Coast and Domino on the East Coast markets. C&H and Domino are some of the leading brands of refined sugar in the U.S. To explore other brands, read a previous post titled Guide to Granulated Sugar.
Product of: Refined in the USA from domestic and/or imported raw sugar
Type of sugar: A refined white sugar with crystal sizes from about 0.3 to 0.55mm.
What Sugar Is It?
Refined white cane sugar
Where and Who Makes Domino Sugar?
Domino Sugars are refined in the U.S. from imported and domestic raw sugars. Domino Sugar Refineries are located east of the Mississipi River — in Louisiana, Maryland, and New York. Domino Chalmette Refinery, just outside New Orleans, is the largest refinery in the country. It refines only domestic raw sugar produced from cane grown in Louisiana and Texas. Domino Baltimore Refinery and Domino Yonkers Refinery purify raw sugar from domestic and foreign sources. Learn how refined sugar is produced in two of my previous blog posts Cane vs. Beet: A Difference? and What is Refined Sugar?
Who makes Domino Sugar? Domino Sugar changed hands many times, but since 2001, it has been owned by American Sugar Refining (ASR Group). ASR is an American company owned by two cane sugar producers from Florida — Florida Crystals Corp. and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, holding 64 percent and 36 percent of ASR. ASR is one of the largest producers of refined sugar in the U.S., and claims to be the world’s top cane sugar refiner as it owns and operates Sugar Mills in the U.S. (all three in Florida), Mexico, and Belize. Belize has 6,000 fair trade-certified cane growers. It also owns and operates eleven Sugar Refineries in six countries: in the U.S. (Florida, California, Louisiana, New York, Maryland), Canada, Mexico, England, Italy, and Portugal. Their brand names include C&H, Florida Crystals, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Lyle’s cane syrups.
Domino Sugar is distributed by Domino Foods Inc., which is the marketing arm of ASR. One of the top marketers of refined sugar in the United States, it sells and distributes C&H, Florida Crystals, Tate & Lyle, and Lyle’s brand names.
Certifications & Special Diets
Domino sugar is non-GMO Project Verified and kosher certified [all granulated sugars are kosher].
Is Domino Sugar vegan? Yes and No. To find out, search for the lot code on your Domino sugar package. If the lot code starts with the numbers 1 or 4, it means it was produced on Domino Yonkers (NY) or Baltimore (MD) Refineries, respectively, which do not use bone char and so, have a vegan-friendly process (called ion exchange resin). Bone char is animal-derived natural charcoal used to remove the color and impurities from sugar syrups. Bone char is used for decolorization in the Domino Sugar Refinery in Chalmette (LA). If the lot code on your sugar starts with the number 5, it means it was produced in Louisiana, and consequently, is not vegan. Refer to the image below, showing my package, where you can see the lot code starting with the #5, meaning it is not vegan. As a quick reference: (1) From Yonkers is vegan; (4) From Baltimore is vegan; (5) From Chalmette is not vegan.
What is the "spoonfull of sugar" logo in all Domino Sugar labels? Domino Sugar packages have a Sugarmark (aka "Pure Sugar Mark") on their back label as the image below shows. The Sugarmark is an international logo that assures the product inside the package is sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beet, and no other sweetener. This video explains why sugar manufacturers started using it.
Granulated White Sugar is an all-purpose sugar that is not only sweet but has many culinary roles. At the simplest level, it is used as a sweetener, such as in hot and cold drinks. But it often performs more than one role obtained either individually or in combination with other ingredients. It is a precursor of flavor and color, as I discussed here, but the importance of sugar comes for safety and structure.
Granulated sugar contributes to the so-called "mouthfeel," providing bulk (weight and volume), increasing viscosity, and changing the texture of foods. It offers glaze and sparkle, binds water, increases boiling temperature and lowers the freezing temperature when dissolved in water, and much more. In non-sweet foods, sugar balances sour, bitter, salty, and spicy tastes.
Granulated sugar is not a perfect sweetener but is definitely the most versatile type of sweetener of all. Learn more on a previous post titled Guide to Granulated Sugar.
Any sugar when properly stored — tightly closed in a dry place — has an indefinite shelf life as it does not support microbial growth. If it ever clumps, use a sugar softener as I describe here.
Measuring & Counting Calories
When measuring sugar, you might wonder: What is one serving of sugar? How many grams of sugar in one serving? How many calories in a spoonful of sugar? How many cups in a pound of sugar? Find the answers below.
For those who like to measure volume, I list some reference amounts obtained via the dip and sweep method — using proper measuring tools, not utensils. Just dip your measuring tool into the sugar package or bin, and sweep the excess with a knife. (Note: teaspoon = tsp; tablespoon = Tbsp)
Granulated Sugar Substitutions
Can brown sugar be substituted for granulated sugar in recipes? Yes, an equal substitution of brown sugar for granulated sugar can be done. It mostly depends on your taste. Using brown sugar will add a slight molasses flavor to whatever it is you're making.
Can confectioners' sugar be substituted for white sugar? In short, no. Confectioners' sugar has a finer crystal size and contains 3% cornstarch that keeps the sugar soft. Substitutions may result in unsatisfactory results.
Can syrups, such as honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup, be substituted for granulated sugar? Yes, but keep in mind the following. (1)