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FOOD + WINE tutorial
“... it’s what I want to dip
fresh strawberries into; and
a light scattering raises just-
baked fruit pie from passable
to impossible to refuse,
particularly when whipped
cream is involved”
LoGICane uses world-first technology to create low-GI sugar.
Sold under the CSR label, it was created in Australia by Horizon
Science, using millions of State and Federal government dollars.
Through extensive research, the folk at Horizon discovered
that polyphenols in molasses slow down the body’s uptake of
sucrose. In other words, having more polyphenols in your sugar
reduces its GI rating. So, why wouldn’t you simply eat one of the
less refined sugars like rapadura?
“The challenge with rapadura and other sugars created in
non-controlled environments is exactly that, you have no control,”
says a Horizon Science spokesman. “It is possible that the
rapadura you’re eating will have a lower GI rating than normal
white sugar. But it all depends on where the sugar cane is grown,
when it was harvested and how it was processed. You’re better
off eating a carefully monitored product like LoGICane, which is
guaranteed to offer a consistently low GI.”
Dr Alan Barclay, founding director of the Glycemic Index
Foundation, agrees. “The processing of sugar around the world
is fairly primitive and inconsistent. The beauty and simplicity of
LoGICane is that they’ve identified the essential elements and
they spray them on in exactly the right amount, time after time.”
And while it seems very likely that any number of the darker
artisan sugars rich in molasses would have a GI at least as low
as LoGICane, Alan says it’s all about reaching as many people
out there as possible.
“If you’re the kind of person who knows about rapadura and
doesn’t mind eating molasses, you’re probably not overweight
anyway,” he says. “What we’ve got to do is engage the general
population and encourage them to eat a whole range of
lower-GI foods, thus combating the epidemic of diabetes
sweeping the country,” he says. “LoGICane looks and tastes
a lot like ‘normal’ sugar, hence more people will be open to using
it in their everyday lives.”
LOGICANE – MIRACLE
OR MARKETING FIT-UP?
JANE INVESTIGATES THE NEW SUGAR ON THE SCENE
is a fudge-coloured cloudy-looking creature very different to the white sug ar
on sale at your local supermarket.
This non-centrifug al sugar – in other words, sugar that has not been spun
at high speeds to separate the sucrose crystals from the brown goo – is still
what many people eat in those parts of the world where sug ar cane is grown.
In Latin America and South-East Asia, it’s called panela, in India gur or
jaggery, in Per u chancaca and in Central America papelon, with the colour,
purity, hardness and flavour of each varying from country to country. Grated
into a coarse, sand-like powder, you’ll find this unrefined evaporated cane
juice at health-food outlets, sold under the name rapadura (a derivation of the
Portuguese word raspar, meaning to scrape, and dura, meaning hard, in reference
to the need to scrape shavings off the hard brick of sugar for use in cooking).
I’ve recently seen organic rapadura and panela for sale at one of the
Goodlife health-food outlets, which has stores in shopping centres
throughout metropolitan Perth. Both these products have a delightfully
toasted caramel flavour and contain a bunch of nutrients, notably iron and
potassium, which have been refined out of white sugar.
Sugar processing in this country goes something like this. Cane is shredded
and squished at the mill to extract the juice, which is clarified, filtered and
boiled under vacuum until sucrose crystals form in the pale-brown syrup. The
syrup is then spun at high speed to separate the sucrose crystals from the syrup.
Traditionally, this boiling, crystalising and spinning process happens three
times, each time producing more crystals and leaving behind a progressively
darker, more cooked and less sucrose-rich syrup. The honey-coloured sucrose
crystals are then dried and sold throughout the world as bulk raw sug ar, an
industrial-grade commodity not to be confused with the raw sug ar that you
and I sprinkle on our Weeties.
At the end of the third boiling, the syrup still contains about 40 per cent
sugar and looks a lot like melted bitumen. This is molasses, used extensively in
the production of animal feed and alcohol. (Actually, the bitumen comparison
isn’t that far off the mark. An Australian company is now making Ecopave,
a non-toxic, environmentally friendly bitumen alternative made with – you
guessed it – molasses.) You will find molasses widely available at supermarkets.
One tablespoon provides up to 20 per cent of our daily needs for calcium,
magnesium, potassium and iron, but good luck trying to eat it neat. Far better
to use it in your cooking, where it adds a rich, malty stickiness to cakes and
breads and, used wisely, a meaty depth of flavour to stews and casseroles.
Once it leaves the mill, 80 per cent of the bulk raw sugar made in Australia
is sent overseas. Most of what’s left is refined by Sug ar Australia and sold
under the CSR brand. At the refinery, the raw bulk sug ar is re-dissolved,
clarified, freed from any suspended solids or impurities, then filtered and
de-colourised (sugar industry folk prefer not to use the word ‘bleached’) using
granular activated carbon. The clear sug ar syrup is re-boiled, re-crystallised,
spun and dried to make white sugar.
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