Q: "Is there any nutritional benefit in using raw sugar over white sugar? My husband insists on using raw sugar, saying it hasn’t had any of the minerals removed from it like white sugar has. Is this true?"
Joanne Lundt, Dubbo, NSW
A: Registered nutritionist Bronwen King responds:
“No. Sugar, in whatever form, comes from sugar cane or sugar beet plants which are crushed to release their juice (just as we crush oranges to get orange juice). This juice is then heated to a thick, dark syrup which consists of sugar crystals and molasses. This is centrifuged (spun rapidly) to remove the molasses; granulated white sugar remains. Raw sugar is simply granulated white sugar to which some of the molasses has been added back in. Molasses does have some iron and calcium, but not much: nine teaspoons of raw sugar has the same amount of iron found in one slice of wholemeal bread!”