Ernest Barbella is a longtime professional in the grocery business. Since getting his start as a grocery store manager in the Bronx in the 1960s, the New York native has served as an executive in supermarket chains and started his own spice and pasta companies. Ernest Barbella’s decades of experience in the business have made him knowledgeable about the differences among many similar products. Sugar, for example, is available in both raw and refined form.
The difference between the two varieties of sugar is less about nutritional content and more about production technique. When processing refined sugar, cane syrup is boiled multiple times to remove the molasses and any impurities, creating a white coloration in the remaining crystals. The cane syrup for raw sugar is boiled just once, which allows more traces of molasses to remain, giving the crystals a slightly brown shade. The crystals are also much larger in raw sugar, since it endures less processing. However, while the small amounts of molasses found in raw sugar contain trace nutrients and minerals, there is little evidence to show raw sugar has more health benefits than refined sugar, since the mineral content is so minuscule. Multiple cups of raw sugar would be needed to get an adequate serving of the minerals and nutrients molasses offers.