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Old 06-18-2012, 07:13 PM
 
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Sugar is one product that I always like to buy name brand rather than store brand, because the store brands are usually beet sugar rather than sugar cane.

I grew up near sugar beet farms and sugar beet plants were in several of the nearby towns. We were always told that beet sugar wasn't as good as cane sugar for baking, candy making, frostings, etc. Some of the recipes I have copied out of cookbooks specify cane sugar.

Do you use beet sugar? Just wondering if anyone else has noticed a difference.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:20 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
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I've found store brands to be coarser, but I don't believe that has anything to do with the source. Serious bakers use a grade known as "Bakers Special Sugar", which is ultrafine.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:30 PM
 
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I think if a recipe calls for "cane sugar", that is because the recipe creator doesn't want you to use corn syrup or some other non-granulated sugar product such as powdered sugar.

I buy the cheapest bag of the sugar in the store, which is the store-brand, identified on the label as "pure cane sugar". Sugar processing at the mill can vary the texture of the product, but it is my understanding that granulated sugar is a pure commodity with a specific chemical formula, which can be extracted from any number of different plant sources. Accordingly, it doesn't matter if that source is cane or beets, it is still pure sugar by the time it has undergone the industrial refining process.

The chemical formula for sugar is C12H22O11, which applies to all sucrose-based refined sugars, including both cane and beet sugar. People who are supposed to be in the know about such things do not know if there is a difference, because there is no standardized test, and those who conduct non-standardized tests often get the result they started out wanting to get.

Last edited by CowanStern; 06-18-2012 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
131,621 posts, read 43,933,630 times
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Living in the land of sugar cane I buy sugar cane sugar. While living in Michigan I bought beet sugar. I believe the molecular structure is the same but don't bet the farm on my belief. I'd need to research before making a positive statement.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Having cooked with both beet sugar and cane sugar, I can say I saw no difference in the taste of the finished product. The difference is in the advertising for the product, beet farmers want you to buy beet sugar and cane farmers want you to buy cane sugar. For them its all in the economics of how the product is marketed.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Heading to the NW, 4 sure.
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Interesting: I just wrote Safeway for the 4th time to ask if they are selling :Beet or Cane sugar? Still no reply. Years ago when I worked at Safeway we sold beet sugar and the pkg's were so marked.
Now, most sugar packaged just says "Sugar"-unless you buy C&H which is cane sugar.

I am going to buy C&H next time and compare with other ?brands.!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
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I believe all Dixie Crystals sugar is cane. They have thousands of acres in S FL and I've driven past their refinery many times. I believe the actual company name is US Sugar Corporation. Their sideline at one time was purebred Brahman cattle.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missik999 View Post
Sugar is one product that I always like to buy name brand rather than store brand, because the store brands are usually beet sugar rather than sugar cane.

I grew up near sugar beet farms and sugar beet plants were in several of the nearby towns. We were always told that beet sugar wasn't as good as cane sugar for baking, candy making, frostings, etc. Some of the recipes I have copied out of cookbooks specify cane sugar.

Do you use beet sugar? Just wondering if anyone else has noticed a difference.
My wife is extremely picky about her baked goods and she swears by cane sugar. She will only use C&H brand and will drive past a dozen grocery stores to find a store that carries it. I bet many consumers aren't even aware that most granulated sugar on store shelves is beet sugar.

SUGAR, SUGAR / Cane and beet share the same chemistry but act differently in the kitchen | Full Page
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,019 posts, read 5,037,415 times
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I've never really thought about it. I typically by C&H or if I can get it, Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. Occasionally I will pick up a store brand, but I haven't really noticed any difference, other than the cheaper store brands may be slightly more coarse.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
131,621 posts, read 43,933,630 times
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Some cheap store brands sometimes will have very fine to very coarse in the same bag. Wife's aunt calls them the sweepings. And I know the sugar was cane that I took her. Had to go back for name brand cane.
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