Sucanat (a contraction of "Sucre de canne naturel") was introduced by Pronatec in 1978 and is a brand name for a variety of whole cane sugar. Unlike refined and processed white cane sugar and brown cane sugar, but similar to panela and muscovado, Sucanat retains its molasses content. It is essentially pure dried sugar cane juice. The juice is extracted by mechanical processes, heated, and cooled, forming small brown grainy crystals. The product is sourced in Costa Rica and repackaged in the U.S.
Minimal processing produces products like Panela from Latin America, Rapadura from Brazil, Muscovado from the Philippines, Jaggery which can be found in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and Sucanat (which is a brand name product). These products contain much of the molasses that would otherwise be removed in the refining process, giving them a strong flavor.
Unlike traditional brown sugar, vitamins, minerals, and molasses are not displaced during the processing of the product.