Posted by: Adi | 2009/02/25



What is it? Who should be having it? What are its benefits?
Thank you,Adi

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Dear Adi
Molasses is obtained from the process used to refine sugar cane when white sugar is produced. Some people attribute a whole host of nutritional and health properties to this sugar byproduct, but when one looks at the nutritional composition of the product then there is really no nutrient that stands out if one considers that it is generally eaten in small quantities of 1-2 tablespoons per day. For example a 100g of molasses contains 684 mg of calcium, but 1T or 15 g only contains 103 mg of calcium which represents 8,6% of the RDA for calcium. Molasses or treacle are used to give a particular taste and colour to certain foods such as tarts, etc. If you like the taste then by all means use molasses, but keep in mind that it does still contain 171 kJ per tablespoon.

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Posted by: Angie | 2009/02/25

Molasses is made from young sugar cane and sulphur dioxide, which acts as a preservative, is added during the sugar extraction process. Unsulphured molasses is made from mature sugar cane and does not require treatment with sulphur during the extraction process. There are three grades of molasses, Mild or first molasses, Dark or second molasses, and Blackstrap. These grades may be sulphured or Unsulphured.
To make molasses, which is pure sugar cane juice, the sugar cane plant is harvested and stripped of its leaves. Its juice is extracted from the canes, usually by crushing or mashing  it can also be removed by cutting. The juice is boiled to concentrate, which promotes the crystallization of the sugar. The results of this first boiling and removal of sugar crystal is first molasses, which has the highest sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted from the source. Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slight bitter tinge to its taste.
The third boiling of the sugar syrup gives blackstrap molasses. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized but black strap molasses is still mostly sugar by calories  however, unlike refined sugars, it contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. One tablespoon provides up to 20 percent of the daily value of each of those nutrients Cane molasses is a common ingredient in baking, often used in baked goods such as gingerbread cookies. There are a number of substitutions that can be made for molasses  for a cup of molasses the following may be used (with varying degrees of success): 1 cup honey, or ¾  cup firmly packed brown sugar, or 1 cup dark corn syrup, 1 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water, or 1 cup pure maple syrup.
Because of its unusual properties, molasses has several uses beyond that of a straightforward food additive. It can be used as a chelating agent to remove rust, as the base material for fermentation into rum, as the carbon source for in situ remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons, and it can be used as a minor component of mortar for brickwork
In Australia, molasses is fermented to produce ethanol for use as an alternative fuel in motor vehicles, and is used to treat burns. Molasses is also used in some brands of tobacco used for smoking through a middle eastern water pipe (i.e. hookah, shisha, narghile, etc). It is mixed into the tobacco along with glycerine and flavorings  sometimes it is used along with honey and other syrups or fully substituted by them. Brands that use molasses include Al Fakher and Tangiers along with others

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