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List of unrefined sweeteners

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Title: List of unrefined sweeteners  
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Subject: Jaggery, Sugar substitute, Barley malt syrup, Sugar substitutes, Sugar production in Sri Lanka
Collection: Lists of Foods, Sugar Substitutes
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List of unrefined sweeteners

This list of unrefined sweeteners includes all natural, unrefined, or low-processed sweeteners.

Sweeteners are usually made from the fruit or sap of plants, but can also be made from any other part of the plant, or all of it. Some sweeteners are made from starch, with the use of enzymes. Sweeteners made by animals, especially insects, are put in their own section as they can come from more than one part of plants.


  • From sap 1
  • From roots 2
  • From nectar and flowers 3
  • From seeds 4
  • From fruits 5
  • From leaves 6
  • By animals 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9

From sap

A block of Indian jaggery, a type of raw sugar
Three cakes of commercially produced palm sugar

The sap of some species is concentrated to make sweeteners, usually through drying or boiling.

From roots

The juice extracted from the tuberous roots of certain plants is, much like sap, concentrated to make sweeteners, usually through drying or boiling.

From nectar and flowers

  • A "palatable" brown sugar can be made by boiling down the dew from flowers of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).[7]

From seeds

The starchy seeds of certain plants are transformed into sweeteners by using the enzymes formed during germination or from bacterian cultures. Some sweeteners made with starch are quite refined and made by degrading purified starch with enzymes, such as corn syrup.

From fruits

Many fresh fruits, dried fruits and fruit juices are used as sweeteners. Some examples are:

  • Watermelon sugar, made by boiling the juice of ripe watermelons.[13]
  • Pumpkin sugar, made by grating the pumpkins, in the same manner as to make beet sugar.[14][15]
  • Dates, date paste, spread, syrup ("dibs"), or powder (date sugar) are made from the fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).
  • Jallab is made by combining dates, grape molasses and rose water.
  • Pekmez is made of grapes, fig (Ficus carica) and mulberry (Morus spp.) juices, condensed by boiling with coagulant agents.

A variety of molasses are made with fruit:

From leaves

Dried and powdered Stevia leaves

In a few species of plants the leaves are sweet and can be used as sweeteners.

  • Stevia spp. can be used whole, or dried and powdered to sweeten food or drink. Uniquely, stevia contains no carbohydrates or calories.[17]
  • Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), has sweet leaves, although not as sweet as Stevia.[18]

By animals

See also


  1. ^ Johnston, James F. W.; Arthur H. Church (2006-02-07) [1880]. The Chemistry of Common Life. D. Appleton and company. p. 198. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  2. ^ Beckley, Jacqueline H.; Jack Huang; Elizabeth Topp; Michele Foley; Witoon Prinyawiwatkul (2007). Accelerating New Food Product Design and Development. Blackwell Publishing. p. 36.  
  3. ^ Kallio, Heikki; Tuija Teerinen; Seija Ahtonen; Meri Suihko; Reino R. Linko (1989). "(Betula pubescens)"Composition and Properties of Birch Syrup (PDF). J. Agric. Food Chem. 37: 51–54.  
  4. ^ Moerman, Daniel E. (1998). Native American Ethnobotany. Timber Press. pp. 38–41.  
  5. ^ Balfour, Edward (2007-05-29) [1871]. Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial, Industrial and Scientific 1 (2nd ed.). Oxford University. p. 194. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  6. ^ Lock, Charles George Warnford; George William Wigner; Robert Henry Harl (2007-10-22) [1882]. Sugar Growing and Refining. E. & F. N. Spon. pp. 408–409. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  7. ^ a b Saunders, Charles Francis (1976). Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Courier Dover Publications. p. 219.  
  8. ^ Emery, Carla (2003). The Encyclopedia of Country Living, An Old Fashioned Recipe Book. Sasquatch Books. p. 313.  
  9. ^ Draycott, Philip A. (2006). Sugar Beet. Blackwell Publishing. p. 451.  
  10. ^ Manrique, I.; A. Párraga; M. Hermann (2005). "Yacon syrup: Principles and processing" (PDF). Series: Conservación y uso de la biodiversidad de raíces y tubérculos andinos: Una década de investigación para el desarrollo (1993-2003). 8B: 31p. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  11. ^ Roehl, Evelyn (1996). Whole Food Facts: The Complete Reference Guide. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. pp. 134–135.  
  12. ^ a b Belleme, John; Jan Belleme (2007). Japanese Foods That Heal. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 55–58.  
  13. ^ California Legislature (1868). The Journal: 22nd. Sess., 1878. App. F.P. Thompson, Supt. state printing. p. 470. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  14. ^ Hovey, M. C. (2007-05-11) [1841]. The Magazine of Horticulture, Botany, and All Useful Discoveries. Hovey and Co. p. 32. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  15. ^ The Magazine of Science, and Schools of Art. D. Francis. 2006-06-07 [1841]. p. 192. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  16. ^ Basan, Ghillie; Jonathan Basan (2007). The Middle Eastern Kitchen. Hippocrene Books. p. 158.  
  17. ^ Kinghorn, A. Douglas (2002). SteviaStevia: The Genus. CRC Press.  
  18. ^ "Gynostemma pentaphyllum". Plants For A Future. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  19. ^ Menzel, Peter; Faith D'Aluisio (1998). Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects. Ten Speed Press. p. 29.  
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