Talk:Brown sugar

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No retail brown sugar[edit]

No retail brown sugar is produced from sugar beet molasses, because the flavor of beet molasses is not palatable to humans, although cattle like it.

In Japan, brown sugar made entirely from sugar beets is sold in retail stores. [1] It resembles Sucanat, but with the distinctive aroma of beets. And according to sugar beet, in Germany, unrefined sugar beet syrup "is used as a spread for sandwiches, as well as for sweetening sauces, cakes and desserts." Thus it appears this sentence is factually inaccurate (no retail brown sugar) and POV (beet molasses is not palatable to humans). Though I suppose it depends on your definition of molasses; these products are apparently made from the unrefined beet juice and not from the byproduct of refining white sugar. Still, it seems somewhat misleading at best. Dforest 03:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

To quote a sugar-syrup carton on my desk: "Sugar-syrup forms during the production of sugar from sugar beets. The juice of the sugar beet is condensed until sugar crystals form. These sugar crystals are separated in a centrifuge from the syrup." - a CSM sugar-syrup carton
I currently don't have any brown sugar in stock, but since most sugar products here are sugar beet based, I find it perfectly conceivable that it is possible that sugar beets are used for the production of brown sugar. When I go shopping, I'll see if I can find sugar beet based brown sugar, or not. Shinobu 15:36, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Apparently, the brown sugar over here is made by mixing beet sugar with syrup and caramel. Shinobu 18:45, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I've deleted the paragraph in question, as it appears to have no basis in reality. Shinobu 21:23, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I think I put the majority of that paragraph together - but in light of your comments I have reincorporated some part of it. And I cite my 16 years with British Sugar as suitable background. GraemeLeggett 09:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about Britain, but here almost all sugar products are made from beet sugar. That's also probably the reason that brown sugar tastes different from white sugar. Shinobu 11:47, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Approx 50% of sugar produced in the UK is from refining imported cane products (Lome agreement etc) and about 50% is from beet. GraemeLeggett 12:51, 8 June 2006 (UTC)


First paragraph, first sentence: Brown sugar is an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of
Second paragraph, first sentence: Many brown sugar producers produce brown sugar by adding molasses to completely [emphasis mine] refined white sugar crystals

All evidence I've found on the web states that, at least in the west, brown sugar is completely refined white sugar, with molasses added. (Wholly separate from so-called "raw" sugar like turbinado). Is there anyone around with a mild amount of sugar-production authority who can fix this poor article? If no one objects, I'll strike the conflicting parts in a month. JMD 19:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

See also the talk section above. You seem to be a sensible person, so go right ahead. I'll keep this page on my watchlist. Bye, Shinobu 21:22, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


This article appears to have been vandalized on Sept 1 by, and no one has noticed or cared. It just looks like random sections were deleted and nothing significant has been added since. I'm just going to go ahead and revert it to the previous edit by GraemeLeggett... as soon as I figure out how. Sorry, I'm new at this.--driver8

Just go to the page history, click the revision you want to revert to and edit and save it. Shinobu 10:25, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


I changed the wording sightly, both to reflect a more worldwide view, and to tone down the stated effects of using beet molasses. The taste of beet brown sugar is different, but not particularly strong. As noted before, the beet molasses used are sold as a spread for bread and pancakes and the like, as "sugar syrup". Although the production process is different from the one on sugar beet. Also note that brown sugar is often used precisely because it has a slightly different flavour. Shinobu 10:24, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm not convinced it comes across as clear enough. GraemeLeggett 11:55, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to edit by bad proza into something clear and readable. ;-) Shinobu 17:09, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

The term, brown sugar, also refers to the snow in streets or walkways during winter.[edit]

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow (like Buffalo) you know all about "brown sugar", the snow on the streets and walkways. It is dirty, wet snow that perfectly resembles brown sugar the sweetener. Maybe this reference could be added to the brown sugar page? 16:20, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Several sites for brown sugar[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Closed; obsolete proposal, lacks rationale, lacks support. Moonraker12 (talk) 15:48, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

There are several sites for brown sugar:

This is a little bit confusing. Wouldn't it be better to make one site about these subjects?Fritsz (talk) 09:28, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Jaggery and Palm sugar I think are distinct. Palm sugar is made from palm trees, and jaggery historically was made from palm trees (currently jaggery is sometimes made from sugar cane). The other products are made from sugar cane or sugar beets, but never from palms. Maple sugar is another kind of brown colored sugar, but surely would be considered distinct.Plantdrew (talk) 20:51, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I’m closing this; there isn’t much of a rationale, and it hasn’t gained much support over the past two years. But the main reason is that it is out of date; some of these articles have already been merged, while others are subject of proposals to merge elsewhere. Moonraker12 (talk) 15:46, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Crystal size[edit]

"brown sugar packs more densely than white sugar due to the smaller crystal size"

White sugar comes in many different crystal sizes... so since brown sugar is made from refined white sugar plus added molasses, is this necessarily true? Is there a standard size for brown sugar crystals? DemiReticent (talk) 20:27, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I would guess it's comparing 'standard' granulated white sugar with standard soft brown sugar. But you're right, it is rather ambiguous. Thomas Kluyver (talk) 10:35, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


Alright, what is "golden brown sugar"? This is mentioned in the picture. The types of brown sugar mentioned in the article are the ones I am familiar with, that is, light and dark. I have have never heard of "golden brown sugar" is this a regional term for light brown sugar? Either the picture caption should use the same terminology as the article, or, if golden brown sugar is a real term, the article ought explain it. --Ericjs (talk) 03:21, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I've changed it to "light". Thomas Kluyver (talk) 10:53, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
"Golden caster sugar" is a fairly new, popular product in the UK. It's a very light brown sugar, at caster size. (talk) 10:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


I started to add a citation for light vs. dark brown sugar in recipes (, but then realized the Imperial Sugar paragraph matches the Wikipedia article word-for-word. It seems possible that Wikipedia is their (uncited) source, but is there a practical way of knowing which came first?

Also, the statement doesn't really seem related to Production. Does it warrant a new section (e.g., Usage)? SimonFlummox (talk) 00:27, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

I can't say for certain without following up on the links, but I can assure you that a huge variety of WP material appears in no end of me-too sites without the slightest acknowledgement all over the web. If you really want to be sure, try to ascertain the date of publication on the external site, then compare it with the dates in the article history in WP. Personally, in the light of past experience, I wouldn't bother, but kudos to you anyway for taking the trouble and noticing the matter. I shall do a bit of paraphrasing to obviate any question of plagiarism; it is easier than proving the provenance of the text on the commercial site.
Concerning the relevance of the material to production, you have a point, so I added a sub-heading to allocate the text to it a suitable topic. JonRichfield (talk) 07:28, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Math Error - Culinary Considerations, volumetric ratio for substitution[edit]

Two sentences currently read, "For domestic purposes one can create the exact equivalent of brown sugar by mixing white sugar with molasses. Suitable proportions would be about one tablespoon of molasses to each cup of sugar (one-sixteenth or 6.25% of the total volume)." I'm sorry, but one tablespoon of molasses to each cup of white sugar seems to result in seventeen parts, not sixteen! The math can easily be corrected so the parenthetical phrase reads, "(one-seventeenth or about 5.9% of the total volume)", or "(one-sixteenth or 6.25% of the white-sugar volume)". However, is there a citation for this somewhere that indicates mathematically correct percentages specifically based on volume? I've found a few book references with those exact numbers, but it is unclear to me if they are copies of wikipedia, or if they are third party sources, and they do not seem to claim them as specifically based on volume and instead are ambiguous. So, it seems there are some errors in uncited volumetric ratio numbers and/or text. Any thoughts regarding corrections? Gzuufy (talk) 19:47, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

As molasses is a liquid, and sugar is crystalline granules (with many air gaps between the granules), adding one tablespoon molasses to a cup of sugar should not measurably change the volume occupied by the sugar, so 1 tablespoon molasses would indeed be 1/16 of the total volume of the sugar and molasses together. Keyesc (talk) 02:34, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay! Thank you. Gzuufy (talk) 06:58, 7 November 2011 (UTC) Presumably, there is some volume of molasses that, as it is increased relative to a fixed quantity of white sugar volume, would completely fill all the air gaps between the granules, and from that point on, it seems further relative increases in molasses content would begin to create some changes to total volume. Thus, stating a volume percentage when combining a liquid and an air-gap containing solid, would seem ambiguous and/or needlessly complicated. According to volume percentage, "Volume percent is usually used when the solution is made by mixing two fluids." That sentence seems somewhat verified. With respect to solids and liquids, weight- or mass-based percentage-systems are said to be "ordinarily used". Gzuufy (talk) 16:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Archived: this was carried out already, on 27 January 2013. Moonraker12 (talk) 15:54, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

I think that Natural brown sugar should be merged into this article, because of the reason that they are extremely similar topics. Frozen4322 : Chat 03:03, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The main article should be Brown sugar and all the different varieties should be subsections of the main article. In fact the Brown sugar article already contains a section for Natural brown sugar that is almost the same size as the entire Natural brown sugar article. Dr. Morbius (talk) 03:13, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I also agree. Gzuufy (talk) 00:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Go for it, say I. JonRichfield (talk) 13:59, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Agreed,it's just doubling up on articles otherwise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I also agree with the merger
I agree as well, and perhaps merged with Muscovado sugar also? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
I like them separate. It makes it easier to search for Muscovado Sugar which is a main ingredient in some dessert recipes. Given its obscurity many people will search to determine what exactly it is and if it is necessary in the recipe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
When you do a search it looks inside the article so if people search for "muscovado sugar" it will find it in this article. Dr. Morbius (talk) 18:22, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
If I go to an article on BROWN SUGAR, I expect it to be COMPREHENSIVE and to cover the topic of Brown Sugar IN DETAIL. This means that it should cover Natural Brown Sugar, Brown sugar resynthesized from White sugar and ALL other forms of Brown Sugar. Each type of brown sugar could be under its own heading or sub heading, but this is the only way that really makes sense. Otherwise the article is really not complete and it makes unnecessary divisions in the knowledge base. People are smart enough to realize that, if in the article on Brown Sugar there is a heading that says NATURAL BROWN SUGAR, then it must be different in some way. Why make things unnecessarily complex, especially when you are dealing with a relatively simple product. It just doesn't warrant so many SEPARATE articles. FCivish 18:16, 22 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by FCivish (talkcontribs)
Sounds like the 'Aye's have it FCivish 18:26, 22 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by FCivish (talkcontribs)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Natural brown sugar" and its relation to brown sugar - more on the 'merge' question[edit]

In my view including "Natural brown sugar" in the "Brown sugar" article makes sense - but I can see why some would hesitate. In some ways having separate articles makes good sense too. The problem is that they sound like sort of the same thing but they are different in ways that some consider very important. Those people are a little touchy about equating "natural" and "unnatural" brown sugars in any way. Solution? The section in "Brown sugar" called "Natural brown sugar" must be prominent (its own separate section and up near the top - not shoved to the bottom) and the distinction between "natural" and the common "brown sugar" I buy at my local grocer has to be clear in the text. (This distinction should also be stated - redundantly - in the "Natural brown sugar" section.) Both of these stipulations are easy. Merge the articles. Ben (talk) 15:49, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

BIG NO on Merge[edit]

>> Couldn't disagree more. "Brown sugar" besides being a famous song title is typically a commercial scam by the sugar industry as the subject relates to health. If you want to combine the various topics then "unrefined sugar" or something very close to that reflects what is unique about these natural foods vs the manufactured and nutritionally empty brown sugar on the store shelves. If you are going to categorize topics just by color then you might want to start with each of the different colors of iPods. Unrefined sugars are distinctly unique foods from the highly processed and nutritionally empty products simply identified as sugar. Additionally you ignore the cultural aspects of the societies that they come from by clumping them together. — Preceding unsigned comment added by VicMry (talkcontribs) 19:29, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Irrelevant. If the merger took place there would be a section for every possible type of brown sugar and any relevant information related to it. Including cultural, color, nutritional, etc. Whatever criteria that is relevant would be in the article. Dr. Morbius (talk) 18:58, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Since I didn't know that sucanat is a form of brown sugar, would I have been able to find the information I was seeking if the topics were combined? I had no idea where it comes from. Zip'n crunch (talk) 23:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

That is (one example of) what redirs are for. Anyone who feels that sucanat is a reasonable search term, whether anyone thinks sucanat is special or not, would encounter very little opposition to his creating a sucanat redir, and it only takes minutes. Personally I don't think sucanat is worthy of much attention, but anyone producing any encyclopaedic text on a household name such as sucanat in the brown sugar article wouldn't raise any howls from me, and any reader entering "sucanat" as a search term would hit the brown sugar article straight off, possibly not even noticing that its heading is "brown sugar". In fact, the sucanat text should gain from being mentioned in context rather than in isolation. Everyone happy. Except the advertising staff of some brands maybe. Shed a tear. Half our WP problems should be so simple. JonRichfield (talk) 15:30, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: It would help to know which merge proposal this section is saying a "big no" to. The only tag on the page in December was for the merge with Natural Brown Sugar, which was agreed in November and then carried out in January. If this is a proposal to de-merge them, it'll need a lot more support. Moonraker12 (talk) 15:59, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Reference Sources[edit]

The referenced New York Times article for this sentence "there is no nutritional basis to support brown sugar as a healthier alternative to refined sugars despite the negligible amounts of minerals in brown sugar not found in white sugar.", does not make the claim that what is referred to in the article as natural brown sugar has negligible health benefits. A resource may exist, but this New York Times article is talking about typical brown sugar where molasses is added back to refined sugar, not the working definition of natural brown sugar as presented in the beginning of the article. I would speculate that the composition of natural brown sugar, particularly the minerals within, is subject to the conditions in which the sugar cane was grown, and thus one type of natural brown sugar is not chemically analogous to another. Any health benefits ascribed to natural brown sugar are then particular, and not universal. (talk) 02:28, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Also the referenced article for this sentence "Any minerals present in brown sugar come from the molasses added to the white sugar. Some molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients." is not the best page for those numbers. There are better numbers here. But it becomes clear from the information in that table that the better resource would be the actual ESHA database from which those values in that table are derived. (talk) 02:40, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

>> The reference claiming molasses contain up to 20%DV on certain minerals per tablespoon is currently unavailable/removed.

>>Looking up brown sugar gives us up to 18% daily intake on calcium, but at a serving size of 220g. [1] The way the article reads right now makes it very easy to confuse the referenced %DV (Molasses) with the subject of the article (brown sugar). Using the same source for molasses we see high mineral content but from a serving size of 337g[2]. The "...table spoon contains ~20%" seems exceptionally high.

>>Blackstrap molasses (the item referenced from REF`17) points to an obsolete page from NutritionData and is currently unrepresented in their DB.

>>Thoughts on eliminating the blurb expanding the %DV contents of molasses? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:04, 12 July 2015 (UTC)


On the main page there are two pictures, labeled as showing "clarified" and "unclarified" brown sugar. They do appear to show different textures, however what "clarified" means in this context is, if you will pardon the pun, unclear. What is the difference? How do they "clarify" brown sugar? The article needs to say something about it, in my opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:28, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal with Molasses Sugar[edit]

In spite of a merge proposal being left on this article and Molasses Sugar, one editor has taken it upon him or herself to merge the articles. He or she claims that there is an old discussion supporting the merge. This is not true. There is an old discussion about a merge with an entirely different article that has been carried out.

Although I accept that there may be a good case for a merge, it is not up that one editor any more than it is up to me, to decide that the merge should go ahead. The original tagger failed to leave a justification here, and there has certainly been no discussion and consequently no consensus for such a merge. (talk) 08:31, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Just tried to access an article for Turbinado sugar and got redirected to a fairly generic and useless article on "brown sugar". While all these sugars may be brown-ish in color and no doubt have similar chemical properties, that fact is probably not as relevant to the broadly understood user base as the fact that in the real world average grocery store there are several different types of sugar. People are likely seeking information to differentiate between them and will search use the name provided on the packaging. Think there should be, at minimum a section header for each common name of the various brown sugars and realistically, separate articles -- they must have different innovation and manufacturing histories anyway. JBVaughan (talk) 23:15, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

"Culinary considerations" reads like how-to[edit]

Parts of the "culinary considerations" section read like a how-to, mostly as if it were instructing the reader how to mix molasses and sugar, its equivalencies, and such. Does that seem like the case? Radioactivated (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^