31 Different Types Of Sugar For Baking
Sugar is one of the bakery industry’s major ingredients, which plays an important role in baked foods. Sugar is the soul of desserts. It is called building blocks of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is one of the nutrients that provide calories in our diets. Sugar may replace other foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients in the diet. Different types of sugar for baking are found in nature or sometimes even man-made. Sugar provides an important fuel source in our day-to-day life.
What exactly is sugar?
Sugar is one type of carbohydrate that is natural and non–toxic, sweet testing. There are various types of sugars and they all provide about four calories per gram in every serving. Sugars are nutritive sweeteners, which means they are sweet and provide calories. Sugar is found in two ways – naturally and the other is added sugar. Milk, fruit, and vegetable, grain the form of sugar in nature. All green plants manufacture sugar through photosynthesis, the process by which plants transform sunlight into their food and energy supply. Sugar cane and sugar beet plants contain sucrose in large quantities, and that’s why they are used as commercial sources of sugar. Added sugar can be found in flavored yogurt, sweetened beverages, baked goods, and cereals. It is used widely in the food industry. Added sugar provides calories but it also contains a few other nutrients.
How many different types of sugar are found in the food industry?
There are two basic groups of sugars – simple sugars or monosaccharides, which means “single sugars” like glucose and fructose, and complex sugars or disaccharides, meaning “double sugars” like maltose (malt sugar) and lactose (found in animal milk).
Here are some sugars details given below of the food industry:
1. Table / Granulated / White / Sandy Sugar:
The most important sweeteners are made of a type of sugar called sucrose which is the regular white sugar or table sugar used in homes for baking or making desserts. Sucrose is composed of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. Table sugar is highly processed and refined. it is regularly produced from sugar beets or sugar cane and refined to a white crystalline end product. This type of sugar contains 99.7% sucrose. White sugar gets dissolved when it gets sufficient liquid. Sandy sugar is the most copious sugar in nature because of its deliciousness, convenience, low cost, and simplicity of production.
2. Icing / Powder / Confectioner’s Sugar:
Icing sugar is made by grinding granulated or table sugar until it is a very fine powder that has a small percentage of gluten-free corn starch to keep it smooth and free-flowing. The powder looks white and light as air. It is also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar. Icing sugar is used for creaming methods. Stunning iced cakes, sprinkled fruits, and glazed desserts are the form of icing sugar. Icing sugar can also be sifted on top of dry baked sweet products as an enhancer.
3. Caster sugar :
Caster or castor sugar is superfine sugar that is made by crushing and sieving fine granulated sugar. It is also called breakfast sugar and castor sugar dissolves quickly and easily in liquids and can be creamed easily. This makes it perfect for light and airy desserts like meringues and souffles, pastries, cakes, and desserts. It’s also often used to sweeten beverages, such as tea because it doesn’t need heat to dissolve.
4. Pearl Sugar:
Pearl sugar is also known as hail sugar. Because it resembles hailstones and for that, it is also called nib sugar. It is popular in Europe, especially in Scandinavia, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Pearl sugar is a type of decorating sugar made by polishing large crystals until they resemble pearls. Nib sugar is very coarse, hard, opaque white, and does not melt at temperatures typically used for baking. It is used as a decorating sugar.
5. Sugar cubes:
Sugar cubes are small cubes of sugar formed by pressing moistened granulated sugar into molds and allowing it to dry. These cubes are used to sweeten beverages. Each cube is about one teaspoon of sugar.
6. Brown Sugar:
Brown sugar consists of sucrose crystals covered in molasses syrup. It is brown and has distinctive color and flavor. It forms a lump because of moisture. Brown sugar is used in beverages and certain baked products like pudding, cakes, etc. Brown sugar is called Turbinado Sugar in USA and Demerara Sugar in the United Kingdom when it forms in darker coarse granulated and caramel flavor.
Honey is produced by honeybees and formed from the liquid which is obtained from bee hives. It is natural sugar consisting of glucose and fructose. The color and flavor of honey will vary with its source. Some manufacturers produce artificial honey, made from beet or cane sugar. It is used as a leavening agent also. Some commercial honey farms allow bees to suck the nectar from only one particular flower to produce the honey of that flavor.
8. Vergeoise Sugar or Sucre Vergeoise (French):
Vergeoise or sucre Vergeoise is a variety of brown sugar obtained from sugar beets giving a product of soft consistency. It is quite similar to white sugar but the only difference is that it has been sprayed with syrup. This light brown colored sugar stays fluid, and smooth and does not aggregate, making it easier on all your baking needs. The name Vergeoise comes from an old sugar mold used to make sugar loaves.
Molasses is formed during the production of table or refined sugar. It is a by-product of sugar making. Treacle is the syrup that is separated from raw sugar beet or sugar cane during its processing into sucrose. It is the heavy dark liquid portion remaining after sugar. It contains very low levels of minerals, calcium, and iron. Molasses obtained after only one extraction are sweeter and lighter in color because more sugar remains in the solution. It is used in the preparation of certain beverages and sauces. Blackstrap molasses is formed during the third extraction of cane sugar. Blackstrap molasses is formed during the third extraction of cane sugar. it is commonly used in industrial production or as an ingredient in animal feed. It is comprised of 55% sucrose and is significantly less sweet.
10. Maple syrup:
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener made by cooking down the sap from maple trees. The sap contains 5% sucrose, with the rest being comprised of other sugars. It is boiled down to thick syrup. When it is condensed into the syrup form, it is made of 88-99% sucrose. Pure maple syrup is very expensive. Serving maple syrup offers various vitamins and minerals.
Glucose-fructose syrup is made by the enzymatic isomerization of glucose. It is less sweet than sucrose. It is present in the body and fruits in natural form. It can control the size of the crystals in candies and as a food for yeast, during the fermentation. It is sold as Dextrose in the commercial. Dextrose is a type of sugar that usually comes from corn or wheat and this is the sugar found in the bloodstream of our body.
12. Date sugar:
Date sugar is obtained from drying and pulverizing dehydrated dates that are ground to resemble granulated sugar. It is very sweet, but it can clump and although it does not dissolve or melt very well it is used in many baked products or as an additive in beverages.
13. Muscovado Sugar:
Muscovado sugar is an unrefined or partially refined cane sugar with a strong molasses flavor and high moisture content. It has a rich brown color, moist texture, and toffee-like taste, and it also has a slightly coarse texture and feels sticky to the touch. It’s commonly used to give confections like cookies, cakes, and candies a deeper flavor. It is also called Barbados sugar, molasses sugar, and moist sugar.
14. Fondant Sugar:
A very fine form of sugar that is used to make a Fondant, a dessert icing for cakes and sweets, or a garnish to be sprinkled lightly on plates or over fresh berries. Fondant sugar syrup beat with cream of tartar to form a thick white paste. Cane sugar is the type of sugar commonly processed for use in making the Fondant. Fondant is used for decorating pastry or confectionery.
15. Corn Syrup:
Corn syrup is sweet and contains a high amount of fructose and glucose. It is a glucose derivative of corn starch. Corn syrup is made from corn kernels. Corn syrup can be found in colored syrup which is artificially colored. It is used in icing, candy making, and beverages.
16. Liquid Caramel:
Liquid caramel is used in the preparation of puddings and some types of confectionaries. Liquid caramel is thick free-flowing liquid sugar. It looks like caramel because caramel color is added to it.
17. Palm Sugar:
Palm sugar is a sweetener that is traditionally made from the sap of Palmyra palm, coconut palm, or date palm. It is used in sweet and savory dishes and is also extensively used in Asian cooking.
18. Invert Sugar:
Invert sugar is about 30% sweeter than regular sucrose which is also present in honey. Because of its honey-like flavor, it is also called “Artificial honey”. It has sugar earned its fame from its unique light-reflective properties.
19. Agave Syrup:
The agave plant is found in the Southern United States and Latin America. Agave syrup is from the sap of the agave plant. After the juice is extracted from the plant, it’s filtered, heated, and concentrated into a syrup. It is a sweet brown liquid that has a neutral flavor. Agave syrup is 25% sweeter than regular sugar. Agave is a popular replacement for table sugar.
Maltose naturally occurs as the byproduct of breaking down carbohydrates which have two glucose molecules bound together. It is used as a flavoring and coloring agent in the brewing of beer.
Lactose is naturally found in milk and dairy products. Glucose and galactose help to create lactose. Yogurt, cheese, and so many bakery products are made of lactose. It is usually added to bakery products because its presence adds to the brewing of food products.
Fructose is found in root vegetables, honey, and fruits. It is a monosaccharide and also it is the sweetest of all naturally occurring sugars. Fructose can only be metabolized in your liver.
Galactose is found in dairy products like milk and yogurt and is also a monosaccharide. It is made up of the same elements as glucose, but they are arranged differently
What is artificial sugar?
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes that are nonnutritive sweeteners, or non-caloric sweeteners. This kind of sugar doesn’t contain any calories and carbohydrates. It is also known as “Intense Sweeteners”. Artificial sugars are hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar. It is used to sweeten foods and beverages
How many types of artificial sugar are there?
Some artificial sweeteners are –
Saccharine is a coal derivative that is 300 –500 times sweeter than sugar. It is used in a variety of foods such as beverages, jams, and baked goods. It has a bitter aftertaste.
Aspartame is sugar that doesn’t have any aftertaste. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Aspartame loses sweetness in high heat. That’s why it is not usually used for baking. Aspartame has a flavor similar to sucrose, and also functions as a taste intensifier and enhancer.
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar and is heat stable. Sucralose is derived from sugar through a patented, multi-step process. It is good for baking and it can be found as a tabletop sweetener and in a variety of products including desserts, confections, and nonalcoholic beverages. It has low–calorie fillers added for bulk. Sucralose is a distant cousin of sugar as it is made from sugar.
Acesulfame-K or Ace –K –200 times sweeter than sugar which is similar to aspartame in sweetening power. It is also heat stable. It can be used in baking but will yield a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Erythritol is 150 times sweeter than sugar and has fewer calories than sugar. It is also good for baking with no aftertaste.
Neotame is 8000 to 13000 times sweeter than sugar. Neotame is rarely used in food because it contains phenylalanine. It is used in baking as the sweetness holds up to high heat with no metallic or bitter aftertaste.
Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar which is heat stable. Because of heat stability, it can be used in baking. It is processed from a compound found in the leave of the stevia plant. However, stevia sugars can’t be caramelized or crystallized. That’s why you will not get the browning effect desired in certain baked goods. It is used in various food products, including cereals, beverages, and energy bars, as well as a tabletop sweetener.
7. Sugar Alcohols:
Sugar alcohols are sometimes used as a substitute for sucrose which adds bulk and texture to food such as hard candies. It is commonly found in chewing gums.
What are the uses of Sugar?
From baking cakes to making so dishes, sugar plays a good role in the food industry. There are so many uses of sugar which are given below:
- Act as a preservative and anticoagulant.
- Gives texture and crust color.
- Helps to get sweetness and flavor to the products.
- Caramelization, helps the cooked products to color.
- Makes the texture firm and tender by weakening the gluten strands.
- Icing or powdered sugar is used in icings and fillings and sifted form as a top decoration on many baked goods.
- To retain moisture and prevent particularly baked goods such as cakes from drying out.
- They act as creaming agents with fats and as foaming agents with eggs.
- As the main ingredient for cake decorating, e.g., different types of icing (topping the cake).
To help as an activator, sugar helps the yeast to grow faster by providing it with a readily available source of nourishment.
What are the other names of sugars?
- Barbados sugar
- Barley malt/syrup
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane crystals
- Cane juice/sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Coconut palm sugar
- Corn sweetener/syrup
- Crystalline fructose
- Date sugar
- Demerara sugar
- Free-flowing brown sugar
- Golden sugar
- Grape sugar
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Sweet sorghum
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar