SUGAR FROM OTHER SOURCES

  • Sucrose from cane and beet is what we most often refer to as "sugar". However, chemically speaking, "sugar" means a simple carbohydrate from any source and, from a food science perspective, it is used to indicate caloric sweeteners.

  • I want you to be aware that sugar encompasses a wide array of caloric sweeteners from many different sources, not only from cane and beet. Refer to the images below to compare common caloric sweeteners.

  • Caloric sweeteners contain two major portions: sugar and water. Honey is about 80 percent sugar. Maple syrup has about 66 percent sugar. Table sugar is 99.9 percent sugar. The remainder is mostly water.

  • Sweeteners in solid or crystallized form, such as coconut sugar, glucose, lactose, and date sugar, have over 90 percent sugars and provide about 15 calories per teaspoon.

  • Sweeteners in liquid form, such as in maple syrup, agave, and honey, have over 50 percent sugars and provide approximately 20 calories per teaspoon.

  • Sources of sugar include tree sap, flower nectar (collected by bees in the case of honey), fruit, cereal (starch), and milk. Find below sugar obtained from the agave plant, coconut and maple trees, sorghum, corn, barley, brown rice, dates, fruit juices, and more.

  • No matter where these sweeteners come from, they are concentrated aqueous solutions of one or more simple carbohydrates (which is a synonym for sugar), mainly sucrose, glucose, and fructose.  

or

THE SIMPLIFIED VERSION

 

SAP-BASED SWEETENER

Concentrated Sap

  • Are made by extracting the sap from a plant (including flower nectar)

  • The sap is concentrated into a blend of mainly sucrose, fructose and glucose 

  • Are slightly less sweet or slightly sweeter than table sugar

  • When in liquid form, provide about 50 to 60 Calories per tablespoon

  • To explore the most familiar sap-based sweeteners, visit the refined sugar page

Takeaway about any sugar in concentrated form (from cane, beet or other sources):

 

  1. All (except honey comb) are processed but some more than others

  2. One is not necessarily better than another 

  3. Each one is useful for some applications and not to others 

  4. Each and every one has its own distinctive qualities

  5. Choose them for reasons such as unique flavor, satisfaction, or culinary benefits, not for their nutritional value.

Agave Nectar
Agave nectar (or syrup) is a sweetener made from various species of agave, most famously blue agave - a succulent plant mainly from Mexico that is also a source of tequila. It is made by extracting the sap from the hearth of the plant. The sap is processed into a blend of fructose (55-90%) and glucose. It is 30-40% sweeter than table sugar. Sweetness = 1.3 - 1.4. Provides 20 Cal/ teaspoon; 60 Cal/ tablespoon
Coconut Sugar & Nectar
Coconut nectar is made by extracting dilute juice from the tropical palm tree, and then boiling off most or all the water - the coconut sugar. The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9% each). It is claimed to be the most sustainable sweetener in the world. Same sweetness as table sugar. Sweetness = 1. Provides 4 Cal/g or 16 Cal/tsp.
Honey
Most honeys have more fructose (~40%) than glucose (~30%), maltose (0.5-3%) & sucrose (~1%). Plus 4% of other carbohydrates & trace amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes. Is nectar concentrated by honeybees to 17% water. Mankind's 1st sweetener dating back at least 26,000 years. Cane sugar production is ~400 y/o. Typically tastes up to 50% sweeter than table sugar. Sweetness = 1-1.5. Provides 20 Cal/teaspoon or 60 Cal/tablespoon. Honey powder is slightly sweeter than table sugar and is 4 Cal/g
Sorghum Syrup
Sorghum syrup (or sorghum molasses) is made from the juice extracted from sweet sorghum cane, a cold tolerant cousin of sugarcane. The juice is traditionally concentrated in open pans in artisanal way. It is about 70% as sweet as table sugar; Sweetness = 0.7. Provides ~ 70 Cal per tablespoon; 20 Cal per teaspoon
Maple Syrup
Syrup made by extracting dilute juice from the maple tree, and then boiling off most or all the water. Maple Syrup has about 30% water, 60% sucrose, and small amounts of fructose and glucose. The syrup is about 90% as sweet as table sugar; (Sweetness = 0.9) and provides about 16 Cal/ teaspoon or 50 Cal /tablespoon. Maple Sugar provides 4 Cal/g and is as sweet as table sugar.
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FRUIT-BASED SWEETENER

Juice Concentrates & Fruit Powders

  • Fruit Juice Concentrates (FJC) are made by evaporating most of the water of a fruit juice, usually from grapes, apples or pears

  • They contain different proportions of fructose, glucose and sucrose depending on the fruit used 

  • A typical FJC is sweeter than table sugar and provide 40-60 calories per tablespoon

 
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Fruit Juice Concentrates (FJC) are made by evaporating most of the water of a fruit juice, usually from grapes, apples or pears. Contain different proportions of fructose, glucose and sucrose depending on the fruit used. Provide 40-60 Calories pe tablespoon. A typical FJC is sweeter than table sugar.
Date Sugar & Syrup
Date sugar is made by drying dates and looks like light brown sugar. According to some commercial brands, it is an one-to-one replacement for white sugar or brown sugar but date sugar does not dissolve quite as well. It is less sweet than table sugar. Provides 10-15 Cal per teaspoon.
Lucuma Powder
Lucuma powder is made from the dried, ground fruit of the lucuma tree. Lucuma is an exotic mildly sweet subtropical fruit found in Peru, Ecuador and Chile. Lucuma Powder is much less sweet than table sugar. A commercial lucuma powder available on the market provides 60 Calories per tablespoon and contains 5 g of fiber.
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CEREAL-DERIVED SWEETENER

Starch-derived Sweetener

  • Are produced by breaking down starches, which are complex carbohydrates that are not sweet at all. Sources of starch are cereals such as brown rice, barley, corn, and tapioca. Starch is broken down using an acid, enzymes or both.

  • With the exception of pure fructose, which may be produced from corn starch or from refined sugar (sucrose), all other starch-derived sweeteners are fructose-free, and promoted to consumers willing to limit fructose as they are digested as pure glucose.  

  • With the exception of pure crystalline fructose, these sweeteners are mainly composed of maltose and glucose, plus a carbohydrate a little bit larger than sugars called maltotriose. Maltose is 2 glucoses linked together; maltotriose is 3 glucoses.

  • With the exception of fructose, which is sweeter than table sugar, glucose-based sweeteners have a mild sweetness.

 
Brown Rice Syrup
Rice Syrup is made by breaking down the starch in brown rice into sugars maltose & glucose, plus a carbohydrate a little bit larger than sugars called maltotriose. Maltose is two glucoses linked together; maltotriose is 3 glucoses. As it it digested as pure glucose, is promoted to consumers willing to limit fructose. It is 70% as sweet than table sugar. Sweetness = 0.7. Provides 25 Cal per teaspoon; 75 Cal/ tablespoon
Barley Malt Syrup
Malt or malted barley syrup is made from barley that has been sprouted, converting the starch in the cereal grain into the sugars maltose & glucose, plus another carbohydrate, maltotriose. Maltose is two glucoses linked together; maltotriose is 3 glucoses. As it it digested as pure glucose, is promoted to consumers willing to limit fructose. Has been around for thousands of years. Is about half as sweet as table sugar. Sweetness = 0.5. Provides about 20 Calories per/teaspoon; 60 Cal /tablespoon
Tapioca or Cassava Syrup
Tapioca or Cassava Syrup is made from the starch of the cassava tuber or yucca root (also known as manioc). Since there isn't cultivation of a genetically modified tapioca, the syrup is advertised as a non-gmo sweetener. Contain glucose and maltose. It is less sweet than table sugar. Sweetness = 0.5-0.7. Provides about 20-25 Calories per/teaspoon; 60-75Cal /tablespoon
Fructose
Fructose in pure crystalline form is one of the sweetest of all sugars. Produced from starch or refined sugar (sucrose). It absorbs and retain water effectively. Contains over 98% fructose, less than 0.5% glucose, and about 0.5% water. It is about 20% sweeter than table sugar, but in cold drinks may be up to 70%. Sweetness = 1.2 - 1.7. Has 4 Cal/g or 16 Cal/tsp.
Glucose
Glucose crystals, aka dextrose or corn sugar, is produced from complete hydrolysis of corn starch by acids or enzymes, followed by refining and crystallization. It is about 60% as sweet as table sugar. Sweetness ~ 0.6. Has 4 Cal/g or 16 Cal/tsp
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TABLE SYRUPS

aka pancake syrup, waffle syrup, or simply 'syrup'

  • Blend of liquid sweeteners in which the most common predominant ingredients are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

  • The most used brands by Americans include Aunt Jemina, Mrs. Butterworth, Log Cabin, and Hungry Jack.

  • They typically contain 8 to 10g sugars and provide 50 to 60 calories per tablespoon (15 mL)

  • Additional ingredients (less < 2%): cellulose gum, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor, molasses, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, mono- and diglycerides.

 

Corn Syrups 

  • Contain mainly glucose and maltose (glucose linked with glucose); plus smaller amounts of other sugars and maltotriose (3 glucoses)

  • Made by breaking down corn starch, a complex carbohydrate consisting entirely of glucose molecules joined together

  • Are less sweet than table sugar. Karo is a blend of corn syrup, salt, vanilla, refiners (cane) syrup, caramel flavor, sodium benzoate.

 

High Fructose Corn Syrups (HFCS)

  • Contain almost equal amounts of fructose and glucose and are approximately as sweet as table sugar

  • Are produced by, first, breaking down starch into glucose (a process called 'hydrolysis'). Part of the glucose is then converted into fructose, by enzymes ( a process called 'isomerization')

Table Syrups & Corn Syrup
Also known as “Table sirup”, “Sirup”, “Pancake sirup”, “Waffle sirup”, “Pancake and waffle sirup”, or “___ sirup”, the blank being filled in with the word or words that designate the sweetening ingredient in the syrup, except “maple”, “cane”, or “sorghum”. The word “sirup” may be spelled “syrup”. Sweet ingredients vary but most contain high fructose corn syrup.
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Copyright © 2020  WhatSugar Blog by Adriane Mulinari Campos 

Everywhere in the USA | Based in Richmond,VA | Email me at info@whatsugar.com

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