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
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 Sugars changed hands many times, but since 2001, it has been owned by American Sugar Refining (ASR Group), which 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 is the U.S., and claims to be the world’s largest 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 fairtrade-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. It is one of the the largest marketers of refined sugar is the United States and also sells and distributes C&H, Florida Crystals, Tate & Lyle, and Lyle’s brand names.
Certifications & Special Diets
Domino sugar is non-GMO Project Verified. It is 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 spoon full of sugar logo in all Domino Sugar labels? Domino Sugar has 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 beets, 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 also 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 is used to balance 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? How many pounds of sugar in a bag? Find the answers below.
For those of us that 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 that caloric sweeteners are a blend of sugar and water. Granulated sugar contains only 0.03% water and syrups from 20 to 35%. It means you'll need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe to compensate for the additional moisture that comes with the syrups.1 cup honey or corn syrup = 1 1/4 cups Domino Granulated Sugar + 1/4 cup water.
What's Out in Stores in 2020?
When it comes to sizes and types of packages, Domino Sugar offers a variety of options. The so-called "Easy Pour" reclosable canister has a pour spout for pouring without the need of a spoon. I like the four-pound plastic canister which comes with an airtight lid for convenient storage and mess-free scoop. Please find below Domino Granulated Sugars sold in stores or visit their Amazon Store >>>
Paper bag 4-lb =>
Paper bag 5-lb =>
Paper bag 10-lb =>
Plastic resealable bag 10-lb =>
Paper bag 25-lb =>
Paper bag 50-lb =>
Plastic canister 4-lb =>
Easy Pour canister 1-lb =>
Easy Pour canister 1.25-lb =>
Box 1-lb =>
Box 2-lb =>
Sugar packets, box with 50 =>
Sugar packets, box with 100 =>
Sugar packets dispenser, 500 =>
Sugar packets, box with 2000 =>
How Much Does Sugar Cost?
The cost of a pound of Domino Granulated Sugar online varies from $1.50 to $6, with an average of $3.50. In-store prices are lower, ranging from 50 to 90 cents per pound, with an average of 75 cents.
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As part of my "Sweetener Review Series," I occasionally write about one specific brand or product to help you explore new options or decide on which sweetener is right for you. I do not promote or endorse one brand or sweetener over another. My reviews take into consideration all aspects of the sweetener, such as chemical composition, source, production process, uses, recipes, taste, appearance, certifications (fair trade, organic), how to store, and how they compare with table sugar and other common sweeteners.
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What did I miss? What would you add?
I welcome reader’s comments to point out pros and or cons of this sugar. Share with us!
One of my readers, which is a very experienced baker, noticed some changes in Domino Granulated Sugar within the past year or two. She claims "it appears it has a high gloss, creates a dusty powder in the air when pouring it, and has many clumps". She also says it tastes different. Share your experience if you have noticed changes in Domino Sugar.