Difference Between Molasses and Blackstrap Molasses

Main Difference – Molasses vs Blackstrap Molasses

Molasses and Blackstrap molasses are gummy by-products of the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar, and they have a great demand due to their sweet taste. Both molasses and blackstrap molasses are low in calories, dietary fiber, and fat. However, they are more or less similar in their morphological and chemical features. The main difference between molasses and blackstrap molasses is their production process. Molasses are made out of sugarcane juices, and it is boiled to concentrate and crystallize the sugar. In contrast, blackstrap molasses have undergone triples boiling and sugar extraction process which result in being a more nutritionally dense sweetener than molasses.

What is Molasses

Molasse is a thick, dark brown juice extracted from raw sugar during the refining process. It is a byproduct of the sugar-making process. It is used as a food ingredient in many recipes and has also been publicized as a healthy sweetener. Molasses can be categorized into different groups based on the number of times the syrup was boiled and the ingredients incorporated into it. They are light and dark molasses, blackstrap molasses, sulfured and un-sulfured molasses. These types of molasses again vary by the amount of sugar, method of extraction, origin, and age of the plant.

Main Difference - Molasses vs Blackstrap Molasses

A popular Bangladeshi style rice cake, which is often sweetened with molasses.

What is Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasse is a category of molasses, produced after the third boiling. It is very bitter in taste, and thick and dark in color. Due to its bitter taste, it would not be replaced as a substitute for molasses in food formulas. However, blackstrap molasses have more health benefits compared to other types of molasses. In fact, these thick molasses contain the highest iron, vitamin, and mineral content because it has been concentrated the most by the three boilings.

Difference Between Molasses and Blackstrap Molasses

Difference Between Molasses and Blackstrap Molasses

Molasses and Blackstrap molasses may have substantially different properties and applications. These differences may include,

Definition

Molasse is a thick, brown juice, remaining after extraction of raw sugar during the refining process.

Blackstrap molasse is a very thick, dark color and bitter taste juice, remaining after maximum extraction of sugar from the raw product.

Categories

Molasses can be categorized as light and dark molasses, blackstrap molasses, sulfured and un-sulfured molasses.

Blackstrap molasses do not have any further groups as it is already categorized under molasses.

Stage of Boiling 

Molasses can be extracted during the first, second or third stage of boiling.

Blackstrap molasses are extracted during the third stage of boiling.

Colour

The color of molasses varies from one type to another.

Blackstrap molasses are dark black in color compared to all other molasses.

Taste

The taste of molasses varies from one type to another.

Blackstrap molasses are bitter in taste compared to all other molasses.

Texture

The texture of molasses varies from one type to another.

Blackstrap molasses are very thick in texture compared to all other molasses.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

The vitamin and mineral content of molasses vary from one type to another.

Blackstrap molasses have high concentrated vitamins and mineral content compared to all other molasses. Blackstrap molasses mainly contain Calcium of 400 mg, Iron of 13 mg and Magnesium of 300 mg per 100g.

Uses

Molasses are used for following purposes;

  1. Food product development and additives: Used in barbecue sauces, bakery products cookies, the main raw material in the distillation of rum, used as an iron supplement, A source for yeast production and the production of citric acid.
  2. Chemical and Industrial Applications
  3. Horticultural sector: Used as a soil additive

Blackstrap molasses are mainly used as a constituent of cattle feed and as a source of ethyl alcohol.Difference Between Molasses and Blackstrap Molasses -infographic

In conclusion, both molasses and blackstrap molasses are delicious and nutritious sweeteners that derive as a by-product of sugar production. But their production process is different, and they are not chemically related to each other. Molasses work as a natural sweetener and as a result, they are an excellent substitute for sugar and good for diabetes.

References:

Curtin, Leo V. Molasses – General Considerations (PDF). Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida, n.d. Retrieved May 22, 2014.

Image Courtesy:

“Blackstrap Molasses” by Badagnani – Own work, via  

“Baha Pitha” by Mohammed Tawsif Salam – Own work, via

About the Author: Geesha

Geesha has a BSc (Hons) degree in Food Science and Technology and Master's degree in Food and Nutrition. She is currently reading for her PhD in Food science and technology. Sharing what she learned is a passion of hers and enjoys writing.


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