Sugar granules are small particles, consisting of sucrose, that result from processing sugar cane or sugar beet syrup. To produce sugar granules, processors crystallize purified, filtered syrup from sugar cane or sugar beets by reducing it through evaporation and then centrifuging the dried syrup to create small sugar particles. Production units then dry the crystals further and screen them to produce different sizes of sugar granules.
Cooks use different sizes of sugar granules for different purposes. Regular white sugar consists of fine or extra-fine crystals because they are suited well to bulk handling and resist caking. Fruit sugar granules are smaller with more uniform crystals. Food companies use fruit sugar for pudding mix, gelatin and powdered drinks because more uniform crystals resist settling and separation in product boxes.
Bakers special sugar, bar sugar and powdered sugar feature super-fine granules and dissolve very easily. Coarse granulated sugar results from crystallizing molasses-rich sugar syrups that are high in sucrose. The larger granules are ideal for pneumatic handling, and they resist caking in poor storage conditions. Larger sugar granules resist color change at cooking temperatures.
Brown sugars include evaporated cane juice, Muscovado and Demerara sugar, and regular light and dark brown varieties. Brown sugars differ in the amount of molasses retained after processing, and they feature different granule sizes. Muscovado sugar is coarser and stickier than regular brown sugar, and Demerara is light brown with large golden granules.