Everyone who wants to use palm sugar certainly wants pure palm sugar as a raw material for consumption. However, as techniques for making palm sugar have developed, quite a few have found mixed palm sugars that lose their purity. Mixed palm sugar also cannot guarantee the safety of its users because the mixed ingredients used may or may not be damaging. However, palm sugar mixed with other ingredients such as refined sugar in large quantities can certainly be dangerous to health. Moreover, palm sugar already has a distinctive sweet taste, so there is no need to add other sweeteners to strengthen the taste of palm sugar.
Unfortunately, these other sweeteners are sometimes mixed in to save costs on ingredients for making palm sugar. The reason is that palm sugar is quite expensive, and more expensive than coconut sugar. The high price margin makes less trusted palm sugar producers take the initiative to mix palm sap with refined sugar. This can certainly save production costs, but on the other hand, it is very detrimental to consumers.
As a buyer or consumer of palm sugar, there is no harm in knowing the characteristics of palm sugar on the market. Here’s how to differentiate between pure palm sugar and mixed palm sugar:
Pure Palm Sugar Form
Differentiating in terms of the shape of palm sugar requires high accuracy because the shape is very similar. Printing palm sugar and powdered palm sugar is easier than liquid palm sugar. Unmixed palm sugar has a solid shape but is not too crunchy/hard. This is different from mixed palm sugar which has a solid shape but is very hard and doesn’t melt easily. Palm sugar is made from hydrated sap so it can solidify naturally without any hardeners. Apart from that, the use of refined sugar in mixed palm sugar can create a crystalline shine on the surface of the palm sugar. Mixed liquid palm sugar can be seen from the density of its color. But pure palm sugar has a deep brownish-red color. If the color is slightly golden yellow then the liquid palm sugar tends to be a mixture of refined sugar or coconut sugar.
The Sugar Flavor
In terms of taste, the mixed palm sugar will leave a sweet taste that is hard to lose in the throat and at the base of the tongue. Apart from that, the caramel color of mixed palm sugar tends to be sweet, and slightly sour. To test its purity, simply taste a small amount of palm sugar and place it on the base of your tongue. Then taste the palm sugar and taste it a few moments after the sugar is swallowed. If it doesn’t leave a sour or bitter taste then the palm sugar is free from any mixture. The burnt aroma resulting from cooked sap will also help differentiate it from the aroma of heated refined sugar.