White sugar

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A bowl of white sugar

White sugar, also called table sugar, granulated sugar or regular sugar, is a commonly used type of sugar, made either of beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process.


The refining process completely removes the molasses to give the white sugar, sucrose. It has a purity higher than 99.7%.[1] Its molecular formula is C12H22O11. White sugars produced from sugar cane and sugar beet are chemically indistinguishable: it is possible, however, to identify its origin through a carbon-13 analysis.[1]

White sugar (and some brown sugar) produced from sugar cane may be refined using bone char by a few sugar cane refiners.[2] For this reason white sugar from sugar cane may not be vegan. Beet sugar has never been processed with bone char and is vegan.[3]

From a chemical and nutritional point of view, white sugar does not contain—in comparison to brown sugar—some minerals (such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium) present in molasses, even if the quantities contained in brown sugar are not significant.[4][5][6] The only detectable differences are, therefore, the white color and the less intense flavor.[6]


  1. ^ a b Dario Bressanini (3 June 2009). "Miti culinari 6: lo zucchero veleno bianco". Le Scienze Blog (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Animal Bones". www.sucrose.com. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  3. ^ "A List of Bone Char Free Vegan Sugar Companies". ordinaryvegan.net. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  4. ^ Raffaella Procenzano (28 January 2014). "Lo zucchero bianco fa male più dello zucchero grezzo?" (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. ^ Anahad O'Connor (12 June 2007). "The Claim: Brown Sugar Is Healthier Than White Sugar". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b Dario Bressanini (6 April 2009). "Miti culinari 5: le virtù dello zucchero di canna". Le Scienze Blog (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.

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