Qualität von Kokosblütenzucker

Quality of coconut blossom sugar

The other day my friend Lisa asked me at dinner, “Look, I bought this sugar at the Asian store. That's coconut blossom sugar , right? Is it ok?" She then held out a greenish lump of palm sugar to me and waited for my expert opinion. However, it wasn't at all sugary-sweet, and there were reasons for that... I've heard a lot about the topic of coconut blossom sugar in the past Questions were asked such as: “What is coconut blossom sugar”, “What differences in quality are there with coconut blossom sugar?” and “Why is coconut blossom sugar so expensive?” The term “coconut blossom sugar” is currently not legally protected. Formally speaking, it is In the case of coconut blossom sugar, it means unrefined “raw sugar, which is obtained from the sugar sap of coconut palms”. This means that, in theory, everything that comes from a palm blossom in any form could be called “coconut blossom sugar”. Since this would not do justice to the different qualities of the sugar , Today, there are two different forms in the trade - palm sugar and coconut blossom sugar .
Both forms are usually produced in farmers' cooperatives and are based on the nectar of the coconut palm. This is taken from the flower and then stirred over fire . With palm sugar, which is ultimately sold in coarse pieces, the stirring process only takes a short time . After boiling, the juice is poured into vessels and then dried. In Asian countries in particular, this drying process causes contamination.
Some cooperatives - especially manufacturers of non-organic goods - also add sodium sulfite to the juice . This speeds up the drying process, but is not beneficial to the health of the consumer. Unfortunately, the chemical auxiliary club is often not declared, which is why you either stay away from cheap “lumpy goods” or check it yourself: a greenish color of the sugar or a slightly fishy smell are clear indications of contamination with sodium sulfite. When making coconut blossom sugar, the nectar is stirred over the fire for a longer period of time until the mass is almost dry.
This process takes over four hours and produces a maximum of one to two kilograms of “sweet gold”. The sugar is then ground with coconut shells, sieved and dried again. It is obvious that this intensive extra work is compensated accordingly and that coconut blossom sugar is therefore more expensive. Unfortunately, there are also some black sheep among the manufacturers of coconut blossom sugar: it is relatively easy to mix cheap brown cane sugar into the nectar in the kettle.
The industrial sugar dissolves in the nectar, the coconut nectar-cane sugar mixture is brought to the boil, stirred and dried. In the end, the mixing is hardly visible to the naked eye - but the producer receives twice the amount of sugar and therefore twice the sales proceeds for the same amount of work . The consumer is deceived and pays a very expensive price for the cheap coconut-industrial sugar mixture .
But how can you defend yourself against it? The first indication of mixed sugar quality is its solubility: pure coconut blossom sugar is generally more easily soluble than brown cane sugar - which is why it is so popular in combination with chocolate, sauces, juices or marinades. If your coconut blossom sugar suddenly dissolves less well in liquids than usual, this could indicate mixing. In this case you should contact the manufacturer and ask.
A responsible importer usually has good, long-term contact with his farmers' cooperative, but can also provide proof of an isotope analysis for every sugar delivery. This examines the carbons of the sugar molecules. If the sugar sample contains different types of carbon, this is a clear indication of mixing of different types of sugar . If a producer cannot provide this analysis, or if important questions remain unanswered, you should change the manufacturer. In addition to a high degree of purity, the drying process is also an important quality criterion.
Similar to coffee - where we speak of “gentle roasting”, careful drying and the correct degree of drying are essential for coconut blossom sugar . Coconut blossom sugar must have a fine, caramel aroma and melt in your mouth. If it tastes slightly burnt, it has been dried for too long or incorrectly. If it appears damp, it has not been dried enough or has been stored incorrectly. Any moisture content greater than 3% is a reason for complaint. Here too, the manufacturer should be able to provide appropriate analyses. The formation of small lumps or the color of the sugar do not generally represent quality criteria - since the sugar is a purely natural product, there can always be natural fluctuations in grain size and color.
But nature is diverse, and why should palm trees be any different? There are dozens of different palm species that produce different “sugar juices”. The flowers of the Kelapa palms and Arenga palms are currently used in particular for coconut blossom sugar production. Arenga sugar is generally cheaper because there are more Arenga palm trees in the production areas, the flowers are more easily accessible and therefore cheaper to produce. The production of Kelapa sugar, on the other hand, is more labor-intensive - this sugar is also more melt-in-the-mouth and rarer. However, the connection between the “palm tree species” and “sugar quality” has hardly been researched. In order not to buy the cheap Arenga quality at an overpriced price, you should still make sure that the manufacturer identifies the type of palm tree on its website or on the packaging. This brings me to the last quality aspect, the packaging: Coconut blossom sugar is hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs humidity and therefore also smells from outside very quickly.
You should therefore definitely buy and store coconut blossom sugar in a resealable packaging - in a jar or a can. If you use sugar from a paper bag, it is advisable to check whether it has been sealed airtight. After opening, you should also pour this sugar into another sealable container as quickly as possible.

In summary, here are the most important criteria for good coconut blossom sugar:

  • Coconut blossom sugar from the Kelapa palm
  • Light or dark brownish color
  • Fine caramel aroma
  • Pure quality (Iso proof if necessary!)
  • Maximum 3% moisture
If possible, this should NOT apply to your coconut blossom sugar:
  • Slightly greenish color (indication of addition of sodium sulfite)
  • Slight fishy smell (indication of addition of sodium sulfite)
  • Burnt aroma (indication of incorrect drying process)
  • Difficult solubility (indication of mixing with other types of sugar)
  • Non-re-sealable packaging (absorption of foreign odors)
  • Open storage
After I told Lisa all of this, she no longer liked her piece of palm sugar from the Asian store. Maybe next time I should bring a can of Java Kiss coconut sugar to dinner instead of flowers. And a little “hidden product advertising” can’t hurt - as every James Bond film teaches us again and again ;)

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