Molasses
Overview
 
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

s into sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word for "honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Sweet sorghum
Sweet sorghum
Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of sorghum which have a high sugar content. Sweet sorghum will thrive better under drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown primarily for forage, silage, and syrup production....

 syrup is known in some parts of the United States as molasses, though it is not true molasses.
Sulphured molasses is made from young sugar cane.
Encyclopedia
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

s into sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word for "honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Sweet sorghum
Sweet sorghum
Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of sorghum which have a high sugar content. Sweet sorghum will thrive better under drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown primarily for forage, silage, and syrup production....

 syrup is known in some parts of the United States as molasses, though it is not true molasses.

Cane molasses

Sulphured molasses is made from young sugar cane. Sulphur dioxide, which acts as a preservative, is added during the sugar extraction process. Unsulphured molasses is made from mature sugar cane, which does not require such treatment. There are three grades of molasses: mild or barbados, also known as first molasses; dark, or second molasses; and blackstrap. These grades may be sulphured or unsulphured.

To make molasses, the cane of a sugar plant is harvested and stripped of its leaves. Its juice is extracted usually by crushing or mashing, but also by cutting. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, which promotes the crystallisation of the sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. The result of this first boiling and of the sugar crystals 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 makes blackstrap molasses. The term is an Americanism
Americanism
Americanism may refer to:* Americanization* A word or phrase considered typical of American English, English as spoken in the United States* An attitude or conviction which gives special importance to the nation, national interest, political system, or culture of the United States* Americanism ,...

 dating from around 1920. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized and removed. The calorie content of blackstrap molasses is still mostly from the small remaining sugar content. However, unlike refined sugars, it contains trace amounts of vitamin
Vitamin
A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. In other words, an organic chemical compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from the diet. Thus, the term is conditional both on...

s and significant amounts of several mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

, and iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients. Blackstrap has long been sold as a health supplement. It is also used in the manufacture of ethyl alcohol for industry and as an ingredient in cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 feed.

Sugar beet molasses

Molasses coming from sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

 is different from sugar cane molasses. Only the syrup left from the final crystal
Crystal
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography...

lization stage is called molasses; intermediate syrups are referred to as high green and low green, and these are recycled within the crystallization plant to maximize extraction. Beet molasses is about 50% sugar by dry weight, predominantly sucrose
Sucrose
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose with the molecular formula...

, but also contains significant amounts of glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

 and fructose
Fructose
Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many plants. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion. Fructose was discovered by French chemist Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut in 1847...

. Beet molasses is limited in biotin
Biotin
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H or Coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin discovered by Bateman in 1916. It is composed of a ureido ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. A valeric acid substituent is attached to one of the carbon atoms of the tetrahydrothiophene ring...

 (Vitamin H or B7) for cell growth; hence, it may need to be supplemented with a biotin source. The nonsugar content includes many salts, such as calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

, oxalate
Oxalate
Oxalate , is the dianion with formula C2O42− also written 22−. Either name is often used for derivatives, such as disodium oxalate, 2C2O42−, or an ester of oxalic acid Oxalate (IUPAC: ethanedioate), is the dianion with formula C2O42− also written (COO)22−. Either...

, and chloride
Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

. It also contains the compounds betaine
Trimethylglycine
Trimethylglycine is an organic compound that occurs in plants as either glycine betaine or a choline-containing glycine betaine compound. Trimethylglycine was the first betaine discovered by science; originally it was simply called betaine because, in the 19th century, it was discovered in sugar...

 and the trisaccharide raffinose
Raffinose
Raffinose is a trisaccharide composed of galactose, fructose, and glucose. It can be found in beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains. Raffinose can be hydrolyzed to D-galactose and sucrose by the enzyme α-galactosidase , an enzyme not found in the...

. These are either as a result of concentration from the original plant material or as a result of chemicals used in the processing, and make it unpalatable to humans. Hence it is mainly used as an additive to animal feed (called "molassed sugar beet feed") or as a fermentation feedstock.

It is possible to extract additional sugar from beet molasses through a process known as molasses desugarisation. This technique exploits industrial-scale chromatography
Chromatography
Chromatography is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures....

 to separate sucrose from nonsugar components. The technique is economically viable in trade-protected areas, where the price of sugar is supported above the world market price. As such, it is practiced in the U.S. and parts of Europe. Molasses is also used for yeast
Baker's yeast
Baker's yeast is the common name for the strains of yeast commonly used as a leavening agent in baking bread and bakery products, where it converts the fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol...

 production.

Substitutes

Cane molasses is a common ingredient in baking
Baking
Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items...

, often used in baked goods such as gingerbread
Gingerbread
Gingerbread is a term used to describe a variety of sweet food products, which can range from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger biscuit. What they have in common are the predominant flavors of ginger and a tendency to use honey or molasses rather than just sugar...

 cookie
Cookie
In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have...

s. There are a number of substitutions that can be made for molasses. For a given volume of molasses, one of the following may be used (with varying degrees of success):
  • black treacle
    Treacle
    Treacle is any syrup made during the refining of sugar and is defined as "uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar". Treacle is used chiefly in cooking as a form of sweetener or condiment....

     (which is very similar to molasses)
  • honey
  • dark corn syrup
    Corn syrup
    Corn syrup is a food syrup, which is made from the starch of maize and contains varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade. Corn syrup is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar, and enhance flavor...

  • maple syrup
    Maple syrup
    Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species such as the bigleaf maple. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then...

  • ¾ of the volume of firmly packed brown sugar
    Brown sugar
    Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white...

    , especially soft dark brown sugar.

Other forms

In the cuisines of the Middle East
Middle Eastern cuisine
Middle-Eastern cuisine, West Asian cuisine, or in some place in the United States, Persian-Mediterranean cuisine is the cuisine of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East . The cuisine of the region is diverse while having a degree of homogeneity...

, molasses is produced from several other materials such as carob
Carob tree
Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the Carob tree and St John's-bread, is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae...

, grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s, date
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

s, pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

s, and mulberries.

Nonculinary uses

Because of its unusual properties, molasses has several uses beyond that of a straightforward food additive
Food additive
Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance.Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling , salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines...

.

Other food and consumption derivatives

  • Molasses can be used as the base material for fermentation into rum
    Rum
    Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels...

    .
  • Molasses is commonly used in dark brewed beverages like stout and very heavy dark ales.
  • Molasses is added to some brands of tobacco
    Tobacco
    Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

     used for smoking through a Middle Eastern water pipe (e.g., hookah
    Hookah
    A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

    , shisha, narghile, etc.). It is mixed into the tobacco along with glycerine and flavorings; sometimes it is used along with honey
    Honey
    Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

     and other syrups or fully substituted by them. Brands that use molasses include Nakhla, Tangiers and Salloum.
  • Blackstrap molasses may also be used as an iron supplement for those who cannot tolerate the constipation associated with other iron supplementation.
  • Molasses is used as an additive in livestock grains.
  • Molasses is used in fishing groundbait
    Groundbait
    Groundbait is used in coarse fishing in order to attract fish to the fishing area. It is a mixture of various natural ingredients, for example bread crumbs, vanilla sugar, hemp, maize and other ingredients, and moistened with water so it's possible to make balls. These balls are then thrown out...

    .

Chemical

  • Molasses can be used as the carbon
    Carbon
    Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

     source for in situ
    In situ
    In situ is a Latin phrase which translated literally as 'In position'. It is used in many different contexts.-Aerospace:In the aerospace industry, equipment on board aircraft must be tested in situ, or in place, to confirm everything functions properly as a system. Individually, each piece may...

    remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons.
  • In Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , molasses is fermented
    Ethanol fermentation
    Ethanol fermentation, also referred to as alcoholic fermentation, is a biological process in which sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose are converted into cellular energy and thereby produce ethanol and carbon dioxide as metabolic waste products...

     to produce ethanol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

     for use as an alternative fuel
    Ethanol fuel
    Ethanol fuel is ethanol , the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion litres...

     in motor vehicle
    Motor vehicle
    A motor vehicle or road vehicle is a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails, such as trains or trolleys. The vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor, usually by an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor, or some combination of the two, such as hybrid...

    s.

Industrial

  • Molasses can be used as a chelating
    Chelation
    Chelation is the formation or presence of two or more separate coordinate bonds between apolydentate ligand and a single central atom....

     agent to remove rust where a rusted part stays a few weeks in a mixture of 1 part molasses and 10 parts water.
  • Molasses can be used as a minor component of mortar
    Mortar (masonry)
    Mortar is a workable paste used to bind construction blocks together and fill the gaps between them. The blocks may be stone, brick, cinder blocks, etc. Mortar becomes hard when it sets, resulting in a rigid aggregate structure. Modern mortars are typically made from a mixture of sand, a binder...

     for brickwork
    Brickwork
    Brickwork is masonry produced by a bricklayer, using bricks and mortar to build up brick structures such as walls. Brickwork is also used to finish corners, door, and window openings, etc...

    .
  • Ink rollers on printing presses were originally cast using a mixture of molasses and glue.

Horticultural

Soil
  • Molasses can be added to the soil of almost any plant to promote microbial activity.

Hydroponic
  • Molasses contains the disaccharide sucrose. This sugar does NOT substitute as a flowering enhancer in hydroponic gardening. Sucrose cannot be transferred through a plant's cell membrane and therefore can not be used by the plant for cellular production. Other substitute "sugar boosters" for hydroponics contain deoxyribose, lyxose, ribose, xylulose, and xylose. These simple and complex carbohydrates are the main components of cellular reproduction, and deliver an immediately usable form of energy to the plant, which would normally rely on a soil-type organic medium for beneficial microbial activity.

Nutritional information

Each tablespoon of molasses (20g) contains 58 Kcal , 14.95g of Carbohydrates and 11.10g of sugar divided among:
  • Sucrose: 5.88g
  • Glucose: 2.38g
  • Fructose: 2.56g

It has no protein, fibers or fat

See also

  • Anadama bread
    Anadama bread
    Anadama bread is a traditional bread of New England made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes rye flour.- Origin of name :There are several popular myths about the origin of the name, which mostly take this form:...

  • Boston Molasses Disaster
    Boston molasses disaster
    The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the...

  • Brown sugar
    Brown sugar
    Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white...

  • Molasses Gang
    Molasses Gang
    The Molasses Gang was a New York street gang during the 1870s.Formed in 1871 by Jimmy Dunnigan, the Molasses Gang were primarily made up of sneak thieves and minor criminals who were highly publicized in the New York press for the comedic methods of their robberies...

  • Pekmez
    Pekmez
    Pekmez or dibs is amolasses-like syrup obtained after condensing juices of fruit must, especially grape, fig or mulberry, by boiling it with a coagulant agent. It is used as a syrup or mixed with tahini for breakfast....

  • Rum
    Rum
    Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels...

  • Shoofly pie
    Shoofly pie
    Shoofly pie is a fluffy molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and also known in Southern cooking.The term "shoo-fly pie" first appeared in print in 1926...

  • Treacle
    Treacle
    Treacle is any syrup made during the refining of sugar and is defined as "uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar". Treacle is used chiefly in cooking as a form of sweetener or condiment....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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