Jaggery (GUD) - unrefined brown sugar

Jaggery (GUD) - unrefined brown sugar

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Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar mainly consumed in the Indo sphere. It is a concentrated product of cane juice and often date or palm sap without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color, and is similar to the Latin American panela. It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars.

About 70% of the world’s jaggery production takes place in India, where it is commonly called “gur or gud.”  It’s most often made with sugar cane. However, jaggery made from date palm is also common in several countries.

Jaggery contains more nutrients than refined sugar because of its molasses content.  Molasses is a nutritious by-product of the sugar making process, which is usually removed when making refined sugar.  Including the molasses adds a small amount of micronutrients to the final product.  The exact nutrition profile of this sweetener can vary, depending on the type of plant used to make it (cane or palm).

According to one source, 100 grams (half a cup) of jaggery may contain;

  • Calories: 383
  • Sucrose: 65–85 grams.
  • Fructose and glucose: 10–15 grams.
  • Protein: 0.4 grams.
  • Fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Iron: 11 mg, or 61% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 70-90 mg, or about 20% of the RDI.
  • Potassium: 1050 mg, or 30% of the RDI.
  • Manganese: 0.2–0.5 mg, or 10–20% of the RDI.

However, keep in mind that this is a 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving, which is much higher than you would generally eat at once. You’d probably consume closer to a tablespoon (20 grams) or teaspoon (7 grams).

Jaggery may also contain small amounts of B vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.  

So all in all much better for you than the refined white sugar.  My ancestors and even now villagers only use jaggery for their every day sweetness.  South-India is famous for making many traditional sweets with jaggery and there is a high demand for it.

Nutrition facts (100g)

Glucose 15, protein 0.4, fact 0.1, iron 61%of RDI, magnesium 20% of RDI, potassium 30% of RDI.