The colors of raw cane sugar and the variables that impacts its quality

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Raw cane sugar (panela) color is a subjective measurement of panela quality.

In general, consumers in Colombia tends to prefer a yellow or light yellow panela thinking that this means a standard for high quality. 

In this article we will see what the color of panela and its quality are two different things.

The color of panela varies by various factors:

-The variety of cane used, there are many varieties of cane to make panela such as: POJ, CC, MAYARI, RD, to name a few. Each one has different specifics.

-The agroecological conditions of each crop such as: rain, winds, humidity, altitude, whether the terrain is flat or in a slop, the temperature difference between day and night, among others.

-The factors of the elaboration process also influence the color such as: the time spent cooking sugar cane juices, the temperature range used, method and admixtures used in the clarification, etc.

Considering the above, having a homogeneous color of panela is complicated and often unnecessary to guarantee the quality of the same.

That is why we believe that panela has to be perceived as a product with different shades of color ranging from light yellow, ocher, terracotta and ending with dark brown.

The diversity of colors of panela is so wide that it can be seen in a colorimetric fan of more than 49 shades.

The quality of panela whether in block or in powder is defined by the following aspects:

-the sanitary regulations followed by the manufacture of panela the “trapiche” starting with  the crops management.

-a process of good manufacturing practices applied.

Additionally, more and more people are looking for panela to be as natural as possible and have traceability, leaving color aside and focusing on the company’s philosophy.

At Heincke we promote panela with different colors and above all we focus on the product having a higher purpose: to employ more than 2,500 families in the coming years.

Sources: El color en la calidad de los edulcorantes de la agroindustria panelera, Walter Quezada-Moreno.

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