RAPADURA: Made in Latin America by the name of "Panela," "Raspadura", "Chancaca," "Piloncillo" it is a pure juice extracted from the sugar cane (using a press), which is then cooked to evaporate off the water, whilst being stirred with paddles. It is then seive ground to produce a grainy sugar. It has not been cooked at super high heats and spun to change it into crystals, and the molasses has not been separated from the sugar. It is produced organically, and does not contain chemicals or anti-caking agents.

There are also others similar to Rapadura, such as Sucanat (USA – a trade name), and Jaggery (India). Jaggery can refer to either whole cane sugar or date palm sugar, and is solidified and formed into cakes, which can then be grated for use.

It still has the natural balance of sucrose, glucose, and fructose, and contains components essential for its’ digestion. It is metabolized more slowly than white sugar, and therefore will not affect your blood sugar levels as much as refined sugars. The more refined the sugar, the quicker it raises your blood sugar levels.

Muscavado, Turbinado, Demarara and ‘Organic Raw Sugar’ are all refined sugars (and raw sugar isn’t raw, in case you were wondering). They are the product of heating, clarifying, then dehydrating the cane juice until crystals form, then spinning it in a centrifuge so the crystals are separated from the syrupy juice (producing molasses). The clarifying process is usually done with chemicals, although sometimes through pressure filtration. The crystals are then reunited with some of the molasses in artificial proportions. The molasses contains vitamins and minerals, and is recommended for a healthy diet, but the crystals themselves are pretty much highly refined ’empty carbs.’ When these sugars are sold as ‘organic’, people often think this means unrefined, but all it really means is that the cane is grown with organic agricultural methods, then the sugars are refined as usual.

WHITE SUGAR is refined much further using chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, lime, phosphoric acid, bleaching agents & viscosity reducers. The mineral salts, considered as impurities are removed and only leave a little behind, counted in milligrams.

BROWN SUGAR is just refined white sugar with some molasses added.

source: http://www.quirkycooking.com.au/…/rapadura-panela-sucanat-…/