CADO logo, featuring organic sugarcane against a blue sky













Organic Raw Sugar?

Organic raw sugar may sound like a natural product, but is in fact cooked, not raw, and has been refined.  Raw sugar in North American English is defined as "the residue left after sugarcane has been processed to remove the molasses and refine the sugar crystals" (www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/raw-sugar).  In other words, the trace minerals and other nutrients found in the molasses have been removed, and a chemical agent (usually a form of lime, calcium carbonate or calcium sulfite) has been added to clarify the sugar.  Bleaching agents are often used, and then the sugar will be passed through animal bone char to try to remove the traces of bleaching chemicals.  This means that the oh-so-natural-sounding "raw sugar" is not suitable for vegans.
So, "raw sugar" is a rather misleading term.  Raw cane sugar is the same thing.  Pure cane sugar is too - it may not have any added ingredients, but it certainly has the goodness taken out to leave pure, tasteless sucrose.  Of course, organic raw sugar and organic raw cane sugar, even "organic cane sugar" must be made with organically-grown sugar cane, but they are still a refined product made in the same way.
Brown sugar is usually actually white sugar, coated in a little bit of extract of molasses, so it is still refined and bleached and does not contain nearly as much natural plant material as truly unrefined sugar.  Whether labelled dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, golden sugar, tan sugar, turbinado sugar or demerara sugar, you're still getting much the same thing - refined white sugar, coated with varying amounts of a "controlled" type of molasses (usually with flavour and color changed from the original molasses).
As you can see, so-called "raw sugar" is actually not nearly as wholesome as it sounds, and "unrefined sugar" might actually have been refined, depending on where it is sold.  We suggest that the healthier alternative is a genuinely unrefined whole cane sugar. Whole cane meaning that the whole of the cane is used, and the end product contains some plant material as well as sucrose.  Our whole cane sugar is organic and fair trade.  No animal products are involved, so genuinely unrefined sugar is suitable for vegans.
Note: there are variations between countries.  In the UK, some sugar companies are able to claim their sugar is "unrefined" because it is not white.  It is theoretically illegal to sell "unrefined" sugar in Canada, while unrefined sugar does not officially exist in the USA or Australia.  So you need to carefully check the manufacturer's definition of raw sugar or unrefined sugar to be sure you know what you are getting.  You should ask what has been added during the production process, and what (if anything) has been taken out.  Vegans will probably want to know whether or not their "raw sugar" has been passed through char made from animal bones.
In contrast to raw sugar, true unrefined sugar or "whole cane sugar" has just one input – sugar cane juice. The juice is just boiled and evaporated until it forms a dense syrup or molasses, which is either put in molds to set or stirred until it granulates.  Nothing is added, nothing is taken away.  So, whole cane sugar has all the goodness and taste of sugarcane.
Unrefined sugar has many names – it’s also known as evaporated cane juice, whole cane sugar, panela or rapadura sugar.  As well as many Spanish names for it in Latin America, unrefined sugar is known in Asia as jaggery or gur.
Don't be taken in by "raw sugar".  Contact us today to buy the real deal.  Made on family farms by a community enterprise in rural Ecuador with organic and fair trade certification, ours is genuine unrefined whole cane sugar.


Why organic raw sugar is NOT the same as organic unrefined sugar
Organic raw sugar, pure cane sugar, raw cane sugar - all are refined products.  Only whole cane sugar is genuinely not refined.
CADO offers granulated, organic, fair trade whole cane sugar (also known as unrefined sugar, rapadura sugar or evaporated cane juice) made by a community enterprise.
CRACYP logo - a tree
Organic raw sugar
Raw sugar: different types of sugar, which might or might not be defined as raw
Raw cane sugar, a refined product
Raw organic sugar crystals
Pure cane sugar crystals
Whole cane sugar in wooden trough