White sugar

White sugar, also called table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, is a commonly used type of sugar, made either of beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process.

A bowl of white sugar


The refining process completely removes the molasses to give the white sugar, sucrose. It has a purity higher than 99.7%.[1] Its molecular formula is C
. White sugars produced from sugar cane and sugar beet are chemically indistinguishable: it is possible, however, to identify its origin through a carbon-13 analysis.[1]

White sugar (and some brown sugar) produced from sugar cane may be refined using bone char by a few sugar cane refiners.[2] For this reason white sugar from sugar cane may not be vegan. Beet sugar has never been processed with bone char and is vegan.[3]

From a chemical and nutritional point of view, white sugar does not contain—in comparison to brown sugar—some minerals (such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium) present in small quantities in molasses.[4][5][6] The only detectable differences are, therefore, the white color and the less intense flavor.[6]


  1. Dario Bressanini (3 June 2009). "Miti culinari 6: lo zucchero veleno bianco". Le Scienze Blog (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. "Animal Bones". www.sucrose.com. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  3. "A List of Bone Char Free Vegan Sugar Companies". ordinaryvegan.net. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  4. Raffaella Procenzano (28 January 2014). "Lo zucchero bianco fa male più dello zucchero grezzo?" (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. Anahad O'Connor (12 June 2007). "The Claim: Brown Sugar Is Healthier Than White Sugar". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. Dario Bressanini (6 April 2009). "Miti culinari 5: le virtù dello zucchero di canna". Le Scienze Blog (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
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