Beet Sugar vs. Cane Sugar: Which Is the Better Sugar?

There are various types of sugar available in the market today, but the most common would have to be beet sugar (made from sugar beets) and cane sugar (made from sugar cane). Now for many of us, it may seem that the difference between the types of sugar we use doesn’t have much bearing – after all, sugar is sugar, right? However, different types of sugar have their own distinct characteristics and tastes which determine when and how they should be used

Sugar Beets and Beet Sugar

Most people think that the majority of our sugar and other crops are imported from other countries around the world, however, beet sugar sold in many grocery stores across the USA is actually manufactured from sugar beets grown in American soil by American farmers. Some of the large-scale sugar-producing states that grow sugar beets are Michigan and Minnesota. In fact, there are about 12 states in the USA that grow sugar beets. In addition to these, sugar beets are grown by farmers and gardeners in other states, although not as much as the primary twelve.

Sugar Canes and Cane Sugar

In contrast to beet sugar, cane sugar is made from sugar canes, which are grown in a small number of states as compared to sugar beet-producing states. There are only four main states which produce sugar canes used in the manufacture of sugar, namely, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Texas. Like sugar beets, there are also some states which produce sugar cane but not in a grand commercial scale.

In Cooking and Baking

In cooking and particularly baking, the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar is quite obvious, especially in the scrutinizing tongues of expert chefs and bakers. For one, when it comes to icings used in cake, cane sugar seems to be more favorable among chefs and bakers since it always gives a better texture compared to beet sugar. Accordingly, this springs from the fact that sugar beets are grown under the ground while sugar cane is grown above the ground, and that no amount of processing would be able to truly clear sugar beets of the impurities they obtained while under the ground. As for their taste, many say that the difference is very minute, and it would be hard to tell unless you taste them side by side and in their raw form.

So which is the better sugar?

That may be difficult to answer, since the standard of a “better sugar” will depend on various things, like the health benefits that they give and the way that they will be used. Perhaps the focus shouldn’t be on the type of sugar, but rather what they are being used for. In addition, it is a well-known fact that white and refined sugar – whether it came from sugar beets or sugar canes – has very little nutritional value since they are processed and refined so much. Thus, the less refined brown sugar – and to reiterate, whether it came from sugar beets or sugar canes – is the healthier sugar.

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