The benefit of turbinado sugar is that it is the first stage of refining. It is made by the process of crystallizing the juice of sugar cane by centrifuge, this forms large crystals and is known as turbinado or raw sugar and is the first process of extracting sugar from sugar cane. The name comes from the way it is made by the process of spinning to remove the molasses and excess moisture, leaving behind the raw sugar crystals.
The result is light brown large-sized crystals having a slight flavor like molasses and what many manufacturers refer to as raw sugar. This name refers to the fact that the processing done is the first stage of the refining as the raw sugar has more color than white sugar. As the processing is less than that for white sugar, it should retain more nutrients. The calories are listed as eleven to fifteen percent per teaspoon, whereas those of white sugar is listed as 45 calories.
Some of the other benefits of turbinado sugar are its flavor. Similar to that of caramelized sugar, it can be used in cooking or baking, on cereals at breakfast or in tea and coffee to add a different sweet flavor.
The difference between turbinado sugar to that of brown sugar and dark brown sugar is in the refining process, brown sugar uses selected refinery syrups, which create very fine crystals with the end product being moist and golden brown.
Dark brown sugar has a similar texture, but the color is richer and the aroma and flavor more distinct, and is an ideal product for cooking. Turbinado sugar does not receive the refining that many of the other varieties of sugars do.
The benefits of turbinado sugar to that of white sugar is that the inner part of the raw sugar crystal goes through several more processes of refining before it is classed as refined white sugar, turbinado sugar doesn’t.
White sugar first has to have the impurities removed through a clarification and precipitation process, it is then filtered, and the clarified syrup is then filtered again to remove any color through activated carbon or what is known as bone char, granular material with high absorption rates produced in temperatures of 700 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
The final process is crystallizing in a vacuum that produces refined white sugar, 99% sucrose. So turbinado sugar, although not as nutrient-rich as the sugar cane juice, would still retain more benefits than that of white sugar.
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