Brown sugar can refer to any sugar with molasses in it. Get the facts about measuring the color of your brown sugars and how HunterLab can help with our industry-leading spectrophotometers.

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1. Know Your Sugar Type

As someone who works in the sugar industry, you likely already know there are many types of sugar and even different versions of brown sugar. When you're looking to measure the color of your brown sugars, it's especially important that you remember this, as consumer choice often comes down to visual appeal.

2. Understand the Differences Between Light and Dark Brown Sugar

Knowing that molasses is the ingredient that turns white granulated sugar into brown sugar, it's pretty easy to understand what differentiates light and dark brown sugars. Dark brown sugar contains nearly twice the amount of molasses as its light brown counterpart. Since molasses also adds nutrients to your sugar, it makes sense that dark brown sugar includes the highest content of potassium, iron, and calcium of all sugars on the market.

3. Learn How to Measure Brown Sugar

Whether you're measuring light or dark brown sugar color, a consistent measurement process is key to accuracy. These tips will help you ensure equal quality in every batch you produce:

  • Use the same lighting, background, temperature, and sample size for every measurement.
  • Measure your sugar using dry measurement tools — pack in your brown sugar and level off your measurement with a straight-edged tool to maintain a consistent sample size.
  • Use a quality spectrophotometer for the most accurate response.
  • Measure your sugar against only the sugar with the same molasses content.

4. Gauge Color Against the Same Kind of Sugar

When you gauge the color of any brown sugar, it's vital that you compare it to the right type of sugar. The International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA) has color guidelines for every kind of sugar, so make sure that your brown sugar colors are consistent both with the rest of your supply and the ICUMSA's standard for your particular sugar type.

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5. Find the Best Tools for Brown Sugar Color Measurement

Accurate color measurement is the easiest it's ever been with HunterLab's industry-leading spectrophotometers. Our tools will help you ensure an accurate white sugar color that fits the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA) standards. Request a quote on our tools today, and we'll show you why we've become the choice in color measurement tools for food manufacturers nationwide.