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What is beet sugar and what are its benefits?

It's finally out: We're switching from coconut blossom sugar to beet sugar. Endless questions ran through our minds before we made this decision - believe us, it's been a long road. Because you're guaranteed to want to know just as much, here's a little beet sugar FAQ for you.

Is organic beet sugar refined sugar?

Yes. We were also looking for the unrefined for a long time beet sugar and soon found out: it doesn't exist . Unrefined raw beet sugar has a very intense, unpleasant aftertaste. It is therefore washed (refined) several times so that it retains its wonderfully sweet and delicious aroma. This is also why it is always available as white sugar and never as brown - unless it has been colored.

Incidentally, the majority of commercially available white table sugar is not made from sugar beet, but mostly from sugar cane. Because it's significantly cheaper.

How is beet sugar grown? Is the cultivation sustainable?

In Central Europe, sugar beets find almost ideal soil conditions for growing. In addition, the local climate and weather conditions ( temperatures , solar radiation, amount and distribution of precipitation) are very well matched to the needs of the sugar beets. This leads to both above-average field yields and a high sugar content in the beets. And that in turn has a positive effect on the environmental balance, because the higher the yield of sugar in the beet per hectare, the less acreage has to be cultivated for a certain amount of sugar.

Compared to sugar cane, sugar beets require about a third less cultivation area and also use significantly less water . Because 95% of the water comes from precipitation, additional irrigation is often no longer necessary for regionally grown sugar beets.

Another advantage: the deep rooter loosens the soil, brings variety to the field and even enriches the crop rotation. In addition, sugar beets are real nitrate filters and protect the farmland, which is often polluted by the use of liquid manure.

Map of Germany with localization markers for regional beet sugar cultivation

How is organic beet sugar made?

The organic beet goes from the field to a sugar factory. There they are washed, crushed and then taken to the so-called extraction tower. There, the sugar juice is dissolved from the beet with water at a temperature of around 70 degrees, which in turn is then put into cooking apparatus, where the water evaporates. What remains is a sugary solution, from which a centrifuge throws the brown molasses out.

Admittedly, a few production stages are required to extract sugar from the beets. But what many consumers don't know is that beet sugar is produced in a closed cycle . This means that all beet products that are produced during the production of beet sugar are used - be it as animal feed, fertilizer or as a raw material for other products. Even the water needed in the factory is almost 100% obtained from the water-rich beets.

By-products such as molasses and dried pulp are also excellent for use in animal feed, and even stones and soil that are rinsed off are recycled.

Is beet sugar sustainable?

Our organic beet sugar is made from local, regional sugar beets. As we source the sugar from Germany, France or Switzerland, the transport routes from the field to the factory and then to the supermarkets are comparatively short. You've probably guessed it already: It's much more climate-friendly than importing coconut blossom sugar from overseas - the shorter transport routes alone will save us hundreds of tons of CO2 in the future. In addition, the cultivation of sugar beet and the extraction of beet sugar (as already mentioned) is very resource -efficient and low-emission . Sugar beets require little cultivation area and use less water.

Beet sugar has a better carbon footprint than organic fair trade cane sugar

A study published in 2018 carried out an analysis of the environmental and social impacts. A comparison was made between organic beet sugar produced in Switzerland and imported organic Fairtrade cane sugar from Paraguay. The result: organic beet sugar leaves a better environmental footprint. Because the production of organic beet sugar is associated with 37 percent less environmental pollution than is the case with cane sugar from Paraguay .

Cultivation field of beet sugar with the inscription "When it comes to sustainability, regional beet sugar is superior to coconut blossom sugar"

Beet sugar is also socially sustainable(more)

Organic beet sugar also performs very well from a social sustainability perspective. Because experience has shown that the beets are grown and processed in a European factory in accordance with very high social standards .

Many types of sugar such as B. Sugar cane are grown in tropical areas in poorer countries. This entails social risks such as child or forced labor, corruption and violations of the rights of the indigenous population. Occupational safety and health protection, long working hours or access to drinking water are also often problems that do not arise with regional organic farming.

Why is organic beet sugar so expensive?

The sugar beets are sensitive little ones. Because they don't like weeds. However, since the farmers do not use chemical-synthetic weed killers in organic cultivation, the weeds have to be hacked away again and again - often even by hand. This is the only way for the beets to have enough space, light and nutrients to grow. This not only makes the production of organic beet sugar expensive and increases the price, but also unattractive for many.

Brown vs. white sugar - which is healthier?

In order to produce sugar, the juice is first pressed from sugar cane or sugar beets, which is then boiled down into syrup. Crystallization occurs and sugar is formed. This one is - oh wonder - brown. The reason for this is simply a contaminated raw product. So, to clean the brown sugar, it is washed for a long time and dried until the crystals are white. Tadaaa – the refined sugar is ready. And the realization that brown sugar is not automatically healthier .

Small sidenote: the sugar lie. Because brown sugar sells better, refined sugar is often recolored with syrup afterwards.

Is Beet Sugar Healthy?

One topic seems to concern many: Which sugar is healthy? Which sugar is the healthiest? How bad is sugar?

Household sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, raw cane sugar, beet sugar – there are many types of sugar, but in this case sugar is simply sugar. 

Raw or whole cane sugar also does not offer any appreciable health advantage over refined cane or beet sugar. There are only subtle differences in taste. And that is known to be a matter of taste.

As is so often the case: the dose makes the difference. And too much is always unhealthy.

comparison of white and brown sugar

Beet Sugar - Usage

If beet sugar isn't finding its way into our delicious chocolate, it can of course be used elsewhere. In principle, it can be used just like conventional industrial sugar : for baking, for cooking, for desserts, on popcorn, in tea or cocktails. It also provides the desired sweetness in the classic “rice pudding with cinnamon and sugar”. Attention, catchy tune: If "Zucker im Kaffee" is not only your favorite song, but also your guilty pleasure, you can also use beet sugar.

Looking for a little treat after a workout or a dessert after a meal? Then you can also caramelize the sugar and then add nuts or fruit to the caramel mass - at this sugar festival you are guaranteed to become a sugar master.

Beet Sugar for Babies - How Much is Ok?

When it comes to the well-being of your baby or toddler, it is best to turn to experts in this field. In this case, they know better and can definitely tell you when your child can eat sugar and which type of sugar is best suited. In general, it makes sense to let the little ones get used to household sugar/beet sugar as late as possible and to rely on natural sweetness for the time being. In general, sugar can be replaced very well with fruit, dates and other dried fruits or honey. Here, too, we would like to ask you, if in doubt, to always consult with experts first.

Why we are switching from coconut blossom sugar to beet sugar

It was a long process, a long back-and-forth that made our heads spin. In our blog article "Impact weighs more than sugar – nucao is changing" , we explained in detail why we finally decided to say goodbye to coconut blossom sugar and instead use regional beet sugar. Feel free to stop by there.

Speech bubble: What do you think of our sugar switch? Useful or not?

Do you have more questions about beet sugar?

Then feel free to contact our Customer Happiness Service at any time or write to us on Instagram - we look forward to the exchange.

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