The cane sugar used in Liz Lovely cookies comes to us labeled “Evaporated Cane Juice” and has a light brown color. It has been refined by boiling, crystallization, and some processing, but it has not been processed like white cane sugar. No animal by products such as lard or bone char are used in the manufacturing process.
In light of FDA guidance and so that our customers can clearly see the sugar content of our cookies, we are transitioning all of our labels to use the term ‘cane sugar’. Rest assured, we are not changing anything but the words on the label!
Cane sugar is derived from the sugar cane plant. Peeled sugar cane is milled (pressed) to extract the juice, which is then refined to obtain the different forms of cane sugar. ‘Raw’ cane sugar (such as rapidura, panela, Sucarnat, and muscovado) is produced by drying fresh sugar cane juice with minimal processing.
Most cane sugar is produced by boiling sugar cane juice and separating crystallized sugar from the remaining liquid (molasses), with additional processing of the separated sugar crystals.
White cane sugar has undergone intensive refining that may include use of phosphoric acid, formic acid, sulphur dioxide, preservatives, flocculants, surfactants (lard is frequently used as a defoamer), bleaching agents (including bone char), and/or viscosity modifiers.
Cane sugar is always derived from the sugar cane plant. When listed just as "sugar", that sugar may be derived from corn or sugar beets - two of the largest GMO crops in the US.
As far as we can tell, the term ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ as typically used in the food industry today refers to a form of cane sugar that has been processed to separate the sugar crystals from the liquid (molasses) fraction of sugar cane juice, but has not undergone the more intensive processing used to make white sugar.
From a nutritional perspective, there is very little difference between this Evaporated Cane Juice and white cane sugar. However, Evaporated Cane Juice may not be processed in the same way as white cane sugar - a very important point for Vegans.
In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued non-binding guidance for the food processing industry indicating that the term ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ should not be used on food labels since nutritionally it is essentially the same thing as refined cane sugar and therefore may be misleading to consumers.