When we meet someone for the first time and share what we do, it often seems to open the gateway to a game of 20 questions. “What do you think about the Paleo diet?” “It’s a good thing to give up gluten, right?” “Is a banana bad for me?” “So, do you always eat healthy?” When we’re asked these kinds of questions, we’re happy to answer them. We feel grateful that people feel comfortable enough to ask. Here's a recent question we were asked...and here's the answer!
Answer: Evaporated cane juice originates from the same place as white sugar: the sugar cane plant (although some white sugar is processed from beets). Here’s how both types of sugars are made. Sugar cane is shredded and pressed to make a juice that is boiled into a thickened syrup—essentially cane juice (which is not really a “juice”) after it’s washed and filtered. Water is evaporated from the syrup, forming wet sugar crystals that are spun in a centrifuge in order to separate the syrupy liquid (molasses). The remaining sugar is purified by another cycle of washing, crystalizing, and centrifuging to create brown sugar. White sugar is put through this process one more time to remove all traces of molasses and produce pure sucrose. On one end of the spectrum you have evaporated cane juice, which is sucrose and molasses, and on the other end you have refined white sugar, which is pure sucrose. Both forms are added sugars, with the same calorie and carbohydrate profile (4 calories per gram), and should be consumed in limited quantities.