Cane sugar is a highly refined sugar derived from sugar cane plant.

Cane Sugar

What is Cane Sugar?

Cane sugar is a highly refined sugar derived from sugar cane plant. It is a familiar sweetener in beverages, foods and bakery products.

This form of sugar is commercially available in two forms:

  • Liquid
  • Granular


The evolution of this form of sugar has lasted thousands of years mainly in three countries including Polynesia, China, and India. This sugar is produced in tropical and subtropical countries which account for about 70% of total sugar production. Brazil, China and India are the leading cane sugar producing countries.1


The primary contribution of this sugar to baked goods is to flavor and sweetness.

Other functions include:

  • Tenderizing: in low or no fat products
  • Moistening: the liquid form
  • Drying agent: the granular form

Commercial production

Because sugarcane cannot be stored for long, the separation of sugar (sucrose) from the plant is necessary.2 The conversion of the original sugar to raw sugar involves: harvesting, cutting, crushing, extraction of juice, clarification, evaporation, crystallization, centrifugation and refining. The resulting liquid form of cane sugar can be collected while further drying produces pure sugar crystals.

Composition and Nutrition

This sugar provides 3.75 kcal per gram.3 The typical composition of this ingredient is:1

Component Range (%)
Sucrose 96-99
Glucose 0.3-0.6
Fructose 0.3-0.6
Moisture 0.1-0.5
Ash 0.1-0.5


Utilization of sugar cane in baked goods is highly common in breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits, crackers, bagels, brownies, pastries, pies, tarts and many others. Caramelization and crust browning are desirable attributes of all sugar in baked goods.

This sugar can impact the dough system by competing with the starch component for water, thus delaying starch rate of gelatinization and starting temperature, though not  peak temperature.

When adding this sugar to baked goods, adjustments may be needed to compensate for dilution of  the flour and egg protein in cake batters.


Cane sugar is  ‘GRAS’ and its usage as a sweetener is regulated by the FDA under 21CFR168.130.4,5



  1. Godshall, M. A., and Legendre, B. L. SUGAR | Sugarcane. Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2003: 5645–5651.
  2. Sugarcane processing. Accessed on Dec 02.2019.
  3. Cane sugar. Accessed on Dec 02.2019.
  4. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR168.130. 01.2019. Accessed on Dec 02.2019.
  5. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR184.1854. 01.2019. Accessed on Dec 02. 2019.

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