Beet Sugar Helps Sweeten Our Licorice

Sugar Beet to Sweeten Black Licorice

"Chateau D'Lanz uses beet sugar as the primary sweetener in our all natural black licorice."

Sugar manufacturers would claim that there is no difference between cane sugar and beet sugar. While the chemical make up of the underlying sugar is the same, many differences exist between the two sources that are used to make the finished sugar product. In addition to several differences between sugar beets and sugar cane, there are distinguishable differences in the finished product depending on whether it was made from beets or from sugar cane.

One of the main differences between the two sugars relates to their manufacturing process. Sugar beets are only processed one time to get beet sugar, whereas sugar cane requires a second round of processing to make the cane sugar. Sugar cane, after its first round of processing, is filtered through activated carbon, which, in most cases, is crushed animal bone. This step is unnecessary for beet sugar, and, as a result, is never done.

Beets are grown in the ground, absorbing minerals and other nutrients from the soil, whereas sugar cane grows above ground, and does not receive any similar mineral benefits. While it is true that many of these nutrients are lost during the refining process, the starting points for the two sources are very different, and the sugar beet’s soil enrichment makes it much better for people than the sugar cane.

This difference in content may explain the variations experienced in cooking with either beet sugar or cane sugar. It has been reported that recipes calling for cane sugar that have used beet sugar as a substitute will often result in a clumpy, uneven mixture. This could be explained by the higher temperature required to break down the beets and beet sugar. Cane sugar dissolves more evenly throughout the mixture, allegedly a result of its different mineral content. Additionally, when used in deserts, beet sugar and cane sugar result in different tastes. Blind taste tests have found that there is a noticeable difference in the flavor of the finished desert based upon whether beet sugar or cane sugar was used in its preparation. Finally, in certain applications—such as the browned sugar crust of crème brule—beet sugar results in a different texture that does not match the traditional taste and texture of the desert. This all supports the fact that beet sugar and cane sugar, despite being similar, are clearly very different.

The sugar beets used in the production of beet sugar have a number of health benefits. One of the main benefits of beets is that they lower the acidity level in the blood, allowing for better circulation. Compared to sugar cane, which is highly acidic, the sugar beet is a much better source of natural sugars. Beets have high levels of betaine. Recent studies have linked consumption of beets (and thus increased amounts of betaine) to a reduction in inflammation markers that lead to heart disease. In these studies, people who consumed significant amounts of betaine had a reduction of these inflammation markers of as much as 10-20%.

Beets are also a good source of nutrients, including folic acid. A single cup of beets contains about one third of your daily-recommended intake of folic acid. Folic acid is another components in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.