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Q&A

Jaggery powders in contrast to sugar powders

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I understand that sugar, even the brownest, darkest and "wholeest" is generally a refined sugar with added molasses.
In contrast, I understand that a jaggery is the naturally occurring sugar with all its extra minerals, dietary fibers and possibly also vitamins --- totally unrefined.

In a Google search I did find some Jaggery powders but these might be very rare (I never came across jaggery in powders in any supermarket website, rather only as "jaggery paste" solid chunks);
Do jaggery powders contain the same jaggery as of solid jaggery chunks and are powdering-agents (powderizers) normally being added to such products?

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1 answer

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All commercially available sugars are refined from plant materials. The simplest refining is to chop and/or macerate the plant, filter the juices, and then boil them until the sugar precipitates out.

Molasses (treacle) is a sugary residue left over from the boiling process. In a low-tech operation, the white sugar is skimmed off the top, then the light brown sugar, then the dark brown sugar, then the molasses is at the bottom. In a high-tech operation, centrifuges are used to separate the product into white sugar and molasses, and then molasses is mixed back in to white sugar to produce desired grades of brown.

Jaggery is the middle products of the low-tech operation. That's it. It's generally less filtered, and a lighter color indicates a higher purity of sucrose. To powder it, one merely crushes it and sifts to desired sizes.

There's no need to add a "powdering agent" to any of these sugar products except "powdered sugar", which includes corn starch to keep the tiny granules from reabsorbing atmospheric water and clumping back together.

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