The New Bakers Dozen
Cane sugar vs. beet sugar

The The Bakers Dozen: Cane sugar vs. beet sugar
By d. on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Wanted to know which do you prefer to use and why. I know beet sugar is much cheaper(last time I checked) and it also has more of a smell to it. Reason I noticed this is because our food service rep. switched me on the sugars and first thing I noticed was the smell. Do both these sugars have the same chemical properties and structure?

By Amy on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:08 pm: Edit

I am not sure about hte same chemical properties, but my Wholesaler switched my sugar once. She told me that all her customers loved this new sugar and she was sure I would love it too. ( of course this was after I had gotten it and called to ask why it was not what I ordered. ) It had a differet taste. I really perfeer the taste of pure cane sugar to beet sugar. I only make desserts and cakes in my business so someone who uses it in other items my have a differing opinion.


By d. on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 05:05 pm: Edit

That's exactly what happened to me. We use C&H and once she switched me to Domino's(which is beet sugar). I remember making caramel sauce and the sauce recrystallized on me twice. Don't know if it was the sugar or my mistake(since I've made caramel too many times and this has never happpened).

By W.DeBord on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 09:10 am: Edit

You know I'm kind of embarassed to admit I've never even thought about the sugar I'm using. I'd bet money my chef orders whatever is convient from who ever to complete and order.

I really believe they must have the same properties...I've never had a reaccuring problem melting sugar that would raise a thought about my sugar????.

When your saying the carmel sauce recrystalized, do you mean when you added h2o or cream it seized up? When did it recrystalize? Was it just the sugar alone in the pan when it did that?

By d. on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 03:17 pm: Edit

It recrystallized couple of minutes after the cream was added. I just think that the batch of sugar I was using had more impurities than normal. I still would like to know the good/bad points of both sugars when compared to each other(purely out of interest).

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 08:07 am: Edit

Doesn't that happen for you regardless of which sugar you use? If I use cold cream that always happens. Maybe I'm missing something?

By d. on Wednesday, November 08, 2000 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Did a little research and wanted to share the info.: 70 % of sugar production in the world is from sugarcane and 30 % from sugarbeets. Beet sugar is slightly cheaper than cane. Both are 99.95 % sucrose and chemically identical, the remaining 0.05% is were they differ in proteins and chemicals. Some people have experienced recrystallization problems when using beet sugar, but there is not enough scientific evidence to come to a conclusion. In Europe, most of the sugar they use is beet sugar. Manufacturers are not required by law to state in their packaging where the sugar is derived from(but you can usually tell because beet sugar is more odorous).

By W.DeBord on Thursday, November 09, 2000 - 07:49 am: Edit

Interesting....see we can learn at this site! Thanks for the lesson.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, November 09, 2000 - 03:59 pm: Edit

Cane sugar looks different to me . The crystals themselves look smaller and finer. Could that contribute to the difference in melting?

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 07:40 am: Edit

In France we all use beet sugar in our bakeries, and cane for only specific things because it is more expensive.
I find that the beet sugar dissolves much better and faster than cane sugar. I was wondering why I did not get the same results with thee sugar in the US, but I had never realised it was cane. Thanks for this topic, I will order beet from now on!

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Friday, November 17, 2000 - 05:27 pm: Edit

I prefer cane sugar, especially for anything where sugar is the main ingredient (caramels, candies, syrups...) I have had problems with the beet sugar available in this area (Michigan)doing wacky stuff like unexpected crystallization. Plus, I really dislike the smell of it. It looks darker and it just smells like dirt to me. I'm definitely opinionated on this subject, tho.

By d. on Friday, November 17, 2000 - 09:02 pm: Edit

Yeah, it's the smell that does it for me.

By vbean on Friday, November 24, 2000 - 03:43 am: Edit

I belong to a baking organization that has baked with both sugars. Cane sugar is superior. It caramelises differently also. Try burning a custard side by side with one beet, and the other cane. They are different.
I only use cane sugar, (I find it far better for baking).

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