How to know if jaggery is spoiled?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to know if jaggery is spoiled?”, how to tell if the jaggery is of a prime quality, how to check if the jaggery has been colored artificially, Is jaggery better than sugar, and what is jaggery and how its make.

How to know if jaggery is spoiled?

Mold: Jaggery does not easily mold given its high content of sugar which acts as a natural preservative. However, frequent exposure to moisture can result in the quick spoilage of jaggery. Colored fuzzy growths on the surface of jaggery are a telltale sign of spoilage due to mold.

Taste: Jaggery has a complex sweet taste that reminds you of caramel, maple syrup, and cane juice. When the jaggery adopts a salty or weird flavor, it has spoiled. 

How to tell if the jaggery is of a prime quality?

There are a few reliable parameters that can inform you about the quality of the jaggery. To make sure you are buying pure jaggery, have a look at the ingredient list. If the list mentions any additives, you can try another brand. 

Reading the label is not just important in this particular instance. We recommend you make it a habit to read the label to keep yourself informed about the food you are eating. 

If some ingredient does not sound familiar, you can look them up and educate yourself on their function and characteristics. 

Jaggery that has gone through extensive processing develops sugar crystals that are visible even on the surface of the jaggery. The crystals indicate that the jaggery was tempered to enhance its sweetness.

Similarly, chemically treated jaggery adopts a yellow color. Whereas the color of pure and unrefined jaggery is somewhat brown and golden. 

Last but not least, you should observe the texture of the jaggery. Jaggery with a hard texture and a rocky appearance is pure and unrefined. It means that the jaggery does not contain additives for an improved texture or appearance. 

If you want your jaggery to break easily, all you have to do is microwave it for 10 secs at medium power. Then press the jaggery with a spoon or fork and see how it crumbles easily. 

How to check if the jaggery has been colored artificially?

There are two ways to go about it. To check if the jaggery has been adulterated with chalk powder, place a piece of jaggery in water. Let it sit undisturbed. If the jaggery is contaminated, a white powder will start to settle down.

Another method to check for artificial color in jaggery involves mixing ½ tsp of jaggery, 6 ml of alcohol, and 20 drops of Conc. Hydrochloric acid. If the solution turns pink, the adulteration is confirmed.

What is jaggery and how its made?

Jaggery is an unrefined sweetener that goes by the name of gur in Asia. Jaggery is made by boiling cane juice. However, date palm is also a common raw ingredient for the production of jaggery.

To remove the molasses from jaggery, it is processed in a centrifugal machine. The centrifuge separates the molasses from the jaggery based on the difference in density.

Different products of jaggery are enjoyed in different parts of the world. In Columbia, jaggery goes by the name of Panela. In Mexico, jaggery is called Piloncillo. Whereas, Malaysians have their name for the same product that is; Gula Melaka.

The production of the jaggery starts when the cane stalks are pressed for juice extraction. The juice is then allowed to sit in large vats, undisturbed for hours, to allow the impurities to collect at the bottom. Clear cane juice is skimmed from the top and boiled later on.

The boiling takes a few hours until a golden paste or dough is formed. The dough is cooled down, molded, and sold.

Jaggery or sugar: What’s better?

The molasses content of the jaggery is what sets it apart from sugar, both in terms of nutrition, flavor, and appearance. The molasses contribute to the mineral content of jaggery.

A 100g serving of jaggery contains approx. 65–85 grams of sucrose, 11mg of iron, 70-90 mg of magnesium, 1050 mg of potassium, and 0.2-0.5 mg of manganese.

On the other hand, white refined sugar does not contain any minerals at all due to the absence of molasses. Does that make jaggery better than sugar? Yes, but only slightly. After all, jaggery is also 80% sugar/sucrose.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “How to know if jaggery is spoiled?”, how to tell if the jaggery is of a prime quality, how to check if the jaggery has been colored artificially, Is jaggery better than sugar, and what is jaggery and how its make.

References 

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-tell-that-the-gur-jaggery-that-you-are-buying-is-pure-1766940

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/jaggery

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