Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free? Best Guide For You

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Are you wondering if brown sugar gluten free or not? If yes, please read our ‘is brown sugar gluten free’ article to know all the details.

Sugar forms one of the main ingredients in your kitchen apart from salt. Sugar is used as a sweetener in almost all dessert dishes. And therefore, it plays a crucial role in maintaining your health.

Brown sugar has been in use more than any other type of sugars as it gives a rich sweet flavor with added pleasantness. So let us find out, is brown sugar gluten free? First of all, you need to understand why we need to watch out for gluten content in our diet.

What Is Gluten? Why Do We Need to Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

Gluten is an insoluble protein made up of gliadin and glutenin proteins. It is usually found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and other crops. It maintains the elastic consistency of the dough and traps air in it that makes the baked food items made from wheat flour (like bread) soft and fluffy.

The presence of gluten in food items causes wheat allergy, celiac disease, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease can cause bloating, gas, weight loss, belly pain, infertility, fatigue, depression,  inflammation, and damage to the intestine’s linings.

To avoid going through all this pain, you must follow a gluten-free diet. And therefore checking if sugar is gluten-free is a must. So, let’s get back to our question, is brown sugar gluten free or not?

How Is Sugar Obtained?

Sugar is usually obtained from grass plant sugarcane, traditionally extracted from its stick or beetroots. The sugarcane or beetroot is crushed in factories, and its juice is extracted. This extracted juice, when processed, further forms different types of sugar.

 Different Types Of Sugar

There are mainly three types of sugar that we have mentioned below in detail:

    1. Raw Sugar – When the sugarcane juice is extracted and is left unrefined, raw sugar is obtained. The quantity of molasses is high in raw sugar due to the natural additives.

      Raw Sugar
      Image by Joseph Mucira/Pixabay

      This type of sugar is 100% pure and rich in minerals and nutrients. This is because it is not processed with chemicals, unlike brown and white sugar.

    2. White Sugar – The raw sugar undergoes chemical processing and is refined to obtain white sugar.

      White Sugar
      Image by jan mesaros/Pixabay

      This type of sugar contains no minerals or vitamins. This is because raw sugar loses its nutritional value in the process of changing to white sugar. Consumption of excess white sugar can be hazardous for your health.

  1. Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is obtained from white sugar when mixed with molasses. It is usually seen that brown sugar comes in two varieties: light brown sugar and dark brown sugar.

    Brown Sugar
    Photo by John Cutting/Unsplash

    The quantity of molasses being added in the process defines its color. Like white sugar, brown sugar also lacks nutritional value.

So, Is brown sugar gluten free? When you look close to sugar manufacturing, you can notice that manufacturers leave no possibility for sugars to be glutinous.

In fact, some of the organizations explicitly claim that their product is gluten-free. To give a few examples:

  • Wheatsome sweeteners claim that their product is “prepared and bundled in a gluten-free climate.”
  • Sugar in Raw claims on its FAQ page that its product “contains no gluten, nor does it come into contact with the glutinous item.”
  • Domino Sugar Product expresses on its FAQ page that “None of our sugars contain gluten.”

When manufacturers are so sure for sugar to be gluten-free, do they claim this for all types of sugar?

Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free?

Sugar is naturally gluten-free as it is prepared from grass plant juice extract, which contains no gluten. Does this simple statement answer our question, is brown sugar gluten free?

Although Domino Sugar Product states that confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar contains 3% of corn starch on its FAQ page. This usually adds up to 0.01% of corn gluten to it. This is mainly done to prevent any caking in the sugar.

Except for confectioners’ sugar, no other ingredient is added to any other type of sugar. Particularly Brown sugar is made up of granulated sugar and molasses, which is naturally gluten-free.

What Is Molasses?

Molasses is a thick, dark syrup produced in the process of extracting sugar from sugarcane or beetroot. You can even prepare your own molasses at home by just boiling sugarcane sticks or beetroots. The fluid left after the sticks or beets are taken out is molasses.

After knowing how sugar is prepared from grass plants, you can be assured of it being gluten-free. So for the question, is brown sugar gluten free? The answer is yes. But then why do we see gluten content in our sugar sometimes?

When Doesn’t Your Brown Sugar Remain Gluten Free?

Is brown sugar gluten free? If yes, then what’s the need to check for gluten content in it? Although every sugar is gluten-free till it is at the manufacturing unit. The sugar doesn’t remain gluten-free on the way to reach you, passing through restaurants, supermarkets, and retail stores.

Is brown sugar gliten free
Image by congerdesign/Pixabay

At the restaurant, it may happen while baking a cake; the chef uses a flour-coated spoon in the jar of sugar. Or even you put your sugar at a high risk of it not remaining gluten-free in your shared kitchen.

At supermarkets or at retail stores, it is seen that sugar and items containing gluten are kept side by side. This way, the chances of your sugar not remaining gluten-free increases due to airborne cross-contamination.

For your sugar to remain gluten-free throughout its shelf life, you should always use an unused spoon while scooping sugar. Also, when you go shopping at retail stores, check the sugar if it is kept apart from the items containing gluten.

Always dust off the packet of sugar for any gluten contamination. Watch out for each step of sugar after it is out from the manufacturing unit for its gluten presence. Check the label of gluten-free sugar before buying just to be sure of its purity.

So, is brown sugar gluten free? Yes, until the time it is not contaminated with the food items containing gluten, it is gluten-free.

Gluten Free Marked Sugar Brands

Sugar is naturally gluten-free but still, some of the companies and brands mark their sugar as gluten-free. They do this for customer satisfaction and to make them assured about the proper handling and bundling at the manufacturing unit. Some of these brands are:

  • Relative Foods
  • Big Tree Farms
  • Traders Joes’

Sugar Products Which Are Gluten Free

There are many sugar products in the US markets which claim their sugar to be gluten-free. These are branded and trustworthy brands that follow standard quality procedures. Still, for your satisfaction, don’t forget to check the ingredient list and label on the packets before buying. The gluten-free sugar products are:

  • Sugar in the Raw
  • Wholesome Sweeteners
  • Domino and Florida Crystals

Apart from going for gluten-free labeled sugar brands and products, you can also go for alternate sweeteners. These are high in nutritional value and are 100% gluten-free. Plus, these do not add to the sugar levels in your body. Therefore it is a good fit for diabetic people as well.

Some of the natural sweeteners are honey, dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, and others. In comparison, some artificial sweeteners are equal Sweeteners, sugar Twin sweetener, Sweet and Low, and Whole Earth sweeteners.

Long Story Short

Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free? Brown Sugar is granulated and is prepared in two forms, i.e., light or dark brown sugar. Also, brown sugar or any other type of sugar is naturally gluten free unless the manufacturer adds any fillers or flavorings to it. And as long as it is handled and bundled properly, brown sugar is absolutely gluten free.

It is important to check for gluten content in your sugar as gluten is harmful to health. It can cause celiac diseases and can even damage the intestines.

is brown sugar gluten free
Image by Myriams-Fotos/Pixabay

Usually, your sugar does not remain gluten-free at the place of its use, i.e., at restaurants and your kitchens. This happens due to cross-contamination and your habit of using the same spoon for scooping in sugar and the items containing gluten.

To avoid this, always use the unused spoon. Properly check the ingredients and the label on the packets of sugar before buying. At retail stores, check for any chances of cross-contamination.

If you are still not assured of your sugar for it to be gluten-free, go for the alternatives available in the market.

There are products and brands in the market which claim gluten-free sugar, which you can go for. Also, natural sweeteners and artificial sweeteners available in the market can prove to be the best alternative to your regular sugar.

Did we finally get the answer to the question, is brown sugar gluten free? What steps do you take to be assured of gluten free sugar? Which are your favorite products and brands? Please let us know in the comments below.

Our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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