What's the difference between rapadura and sucanat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't understand the difference. Is one better than the other? Are they the same? Help!

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#2 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 02:17 PM
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My understanding is that Sucanat (SUgar CAne NATural) is the brand name of the whole, unrefined, unseparated cane sugar first sold in the US (in modern times, anyway), but then they changed their manufacturing process so that the molasses was removed and then some added back in later, hence it was no longer "whole" (and possibly missing some of the nutrients). Then along came Rapadura (from Rapunzel, a European company), which is never separated from the molasses, has the full complement of minerals, etc., so the WAPF started recommending that instead of Sucanat However, now I've read that the company that makes Sucanat has gone back to the same kind of processing they used before and that Rapadura uses, so it's "okay" again. Both are now in the WAPF shopping guide, in the "best" category for sweeteners. Personally, I like Rapadura better because it's more finely ground. Sucanat is so coarse that I find it difficult to dissolve or get distributed evenly in a recipe, and it seems to me to also have a more bitter flavor.

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#3 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJP
My understanding is that Sucanat (SUgar CAne NATural) is the brand name of the whole, unrefined, unseparated cane sugar first sold in the US (in modern times, anyway), but then they changed their manufacturing process so that the molasses was removed and then some added back in later, hence it was no longer "whole" (and possibly missing some of the nutrients). Then along came Rapadura (from Rapunzel, a European company), which is never separated from the molasses, has the full complement of minerals, etc., so the WAPF started recommending that instead of Sucanat However, now I've read that the company that makes Sucanat has gone back to the same kind of processing they used before and that Rapadura uses, so it's "okay" again. Both are now in the WAPF shopping guide, in the "best" category for sweeteners.
:
This is also my understanding. I never noticed it before, but I guess what AJP says is true and the sucanat is more course. I haven't noticed a difference in my results, though. Perhaps I'm just not paying attention, though!

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#4 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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The texture is definitely different and probably someone who bakes more than I would be able to report to us some of the differences. Sucanat is used to replace brown sugar in baking. I don't know how well rapadura works in replacing brown sugar or white sugar. When I do bake, I tend to use turbinado instead of white sugar, but reduce the amount and try to add some sucanat.

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#5 of 11 Old 09-11-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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I like Rapadura better, but I can only find it for $5/lb and only online I use it in coffee but I can't afford to sub it in baking at that price.
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#6 of 11 Old 09-11-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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Rapadura bakes GREAT. I use it instead of any 'brown sugar' in any recipe, and also use it for 'white sugar'. I do tend to make sure to stir it up well (beat with blender if needed) with liquid ingredients to make sure it dissolves a bit.

There is also a 'Rapadura' powdered sugar if you need a 'fine texture' for making frostings and such...I tend to leave off frosting though, so have only used it a few times.

I had not heard that the Succanat manufacturers were going back to the 'old fashioned' and healthier way to process their sugars..so I'll have to check it out again.

I used to buy 'Honey succanant' that ROCKED. Honey in a dry, powdered form that was heavenly in tea and such..hard to find, but if you can get it, gives a whole new 'dimension' to your foods/drinks...

Succanant really should just mean 'dried naturally', and Rapadura is just a 'brand' name of that style of processing, if that helps to understand it.

Turbinado is usually 'stripped' and then allowed to 'dry' and is usually pretty coarse (ok for using as a 'crunchy' topping to certain baked goods, but it's harder to dissolve for a fine texture and has less nutrients, if any left in it (the molasses). They usually just spray some caramel color or a watered down molasses for some color on it as the grains are drying. Makes a lighter flavor, but still...at least it's usually organic and not filtered through animal bones...
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#7 of 11 Old 09-11-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural) is made by simply evaporating the water from the cane juice and then granulating the remaining cane crystals.
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Rapadura This deliciously pure sugar retains a nutritional value because - unlike other sugars - it is not separated from the molasses stream during squeeze-dried processing
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Wholesome Sweeteners’ Organic Turbinado Sugar is made by crushing the freshly-cut sugar cane to squeeze out the juice, rich in molasses, vitamins and minerals. The cane juice is then simply thickened, through evaporation of excess moisture, to form a heavy syrup. The syrup is crystallized and spun in a centrifuge, or turbine, to produce the large sparkling golden crystals. For this reason this style of natural large sugar crystals is often referred to as Turbinado Sugar.
All of this info is from Azure Standard.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-18-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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so how does "evaporated cane juice" fit into this picture? Is it non-branded sucanat?
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#9 of 11 Old 09-20-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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I like taste of Rapadura better.
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#10 of 11 Old 08-06-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PrettyBird View Post
I like Rapadura better, but I can only find it for $5/lb and only online I use it in coffee but I can't afford to sub it in baking at that price.
Hi Prettybird,

Thought I'd share this link with you as I found Rapadura Sugar at $4.99 for a 1.5 lb bag here - http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_sugar.htm
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#11 of 11 Old 08-06-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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I like Rapadura, but I have never tried Sucanat. But my favorite is Muscovado, which I buy from Wilderness Family Naturals (when they have it in stock!).
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