Generic placeholder image

Current Nutrition & Food Science


ISSN (Print): 1573-4013
ISSN (Online): 2212-3881

Review Article (Mini-Review)

Nutritional Composition and Role of Non-centrifugal Sugar (NCS) in Human Health

Author(s): Samarghand Ebadi and Azrina Azlan*

Volume 17 , Issue 3 , 2021

Published on: 28 July, 2020

Page: [249 - 257] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1573401316999200728184917

Price: $65


Non-centrifugal sugar (NCS) has several traditional names such as brown sugar (Europe & North America), Gula Melaka (Malaysia), Jaggery and Gur (India), Kokuto (Japan), Panela (Colombia) and Muscovado (Philippines). It is obtained by boiling down the sugarcane juice until its water content evaporates. NCS has various benefits for our health as it is anti-diabetic, anti-cariogenic, antioxidant and has radical scavenging activity due to the presence of vitamins, minerals, phenolic acids and flavonoid components as well as total antioxidant capacity. This review provides a general overview of the nutritional composition and health outcomes of NCS compared to refined sugar based on literature published in scientific journals. The NCS can be considered as a nutraceutical and functional food. However, more scientific research will be needed to confirm the outcomes and increase awareness, which could then encourage more usage of this product in sugar- based food.

Keywords: Raw sugar, brown sugar, unrefined sugar, health effects, antioxidant activity, phenolic components, sugarcane.

Graphical Abstract
Seguí L, Calabuig-Jiménez L, Betoret N, Fito P. Physicochemical and antioxidant properties of non-refined sugarcane alternatives to white sugar. Int J Food Sci Technol 2015; 50(12): 2579-88.
Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, et al. American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2009; 120(11): 1011-20.
[] [PMID: 19704096]
Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease risk. Circulation 2010; 121(11): 1356-64.
[] [PMID: 20308626]
Jiao Y, Wang Y. The effects of sweeteners and sweetness enhancers on obesity and diabetes: A review. J Food Bioact 2018; 4: 107-16.
Lemos BS, Fernandez ML, Santos MESM. Effects of consuming sweeteners on metabolic disorders. J Nutr Food Res Technol 2018; 1(2): 34-8.
Prinz P. The role of dietary sugars in health: molecular composition or just calories? Eur J Clin Nutr 2019; 73: s1216-23.
Galloway JH. Sugar - The Cambridge World History of Food. UK: Cambridge University Press In: 2000; pp. pp. 437-449.
Duarte-Almeida JM, Novoa AV, Linares AF, Lajolo FM, Inés Genovese M. Antioxidant activity of phenolics compounds from sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) juice. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2006; 61(4): 187-92.
[] [PMID: 17123161]
Jaffé WR. Health effects of non-centrifugal sugar (NCS): a review. Sugar Tech 2012; 14(2): 87-94.
Zheng R, Su S, Zhou H, Yan H, Ye J, Zhao Z, et al. Antioxidant/antihyperglycemic activity of phenolics from sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) bagasse and identification by UHPLC-HR-TOFMS. Ind Crops Prod 2017; 101: 104-14.
Kong F, Yu S, Zeng F, Wu X. Preparation of antioxidant and evaluation of the antioxidant activities of antioxidants extracted from sugarcane products. J Food Nutr Res 2015; 3(7): 458-63.
Duarte-Almeida JM, Salatino A, Genovese MI, Lajolo FM. Phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of culms and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) products. Food Chem 2011; 125(2): 660-4.
Bucio-Noble D, Kautto L, Krisp C, Ball MS, Molloy MP. Polyphenol extracts from dried sugarcane inhibit inflammatory mediators in an in vitro colon cancer model. J Proteomics 2018; 177(177): 1-10.
[] [PMID: 29432917]
Luo Y, Li S, Ho C-T. Sugarcane rind: applications and health benefits: a review. J Food Bioact 2018; 3: 1-7.
Zhang YJ, Gan RY, Li S, et al. Antioxidant phytochemicals for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Molecules 2015; 20(12): 21138-56.
[] [PMID: 26633317]
Abbas SR, Sabir SM, Ahmad SD, Boligon AA, Athayde ML. Phenolic profile, antioxidant potential and DNA damage protecting activity of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). Food Chem 2014; 147: 10-6.
[] [PMID: 24206679]
Hanhineva K, Törrönen R, Bondia-Pons I, et al. Impact of dietary polyphenols on carbohydrate metabolism. Int J Mol Sci 2010; 11(4): 1365-402.
[] [PMID: 20480025]
Eggleston G. Positive aspects of cane sugar and sugar cane derived products in food and nutrition. J Agric Food Chem 2018; 66(16): 4007-12.
[] [PMID: 29526084]
Meerod K, Weerawatanakorn M, Pansak W. Impact of sugarcane juice clarification on physicochemical properties, some nutraceuticals and antioxidant activities of non-centrifugal sugar. Sugar Tech 2019; 21(3): 471-80.
Jaffé WR. Nutritional and functional components of non centrifugal cane sugar: a compilation of the data from the analytical literature. J Food Compos Anal 2015; 43: 194-202.
Nomenclature WCO HS. Section 0417-2012E,CHAPTER 17 Sugars and sugar confectionery 2012.
Weerawatanakorn M, Asikin Y, Takahashi M, et al. Physico- chemical properties, wax composition, aroma profiles, and antioxidant activity of granulated non-centrifugal sugars from sugarcane cultivars of Thailand. J Food Sci Technol 2016; 53(11): 4084-92.
[] [PMID: 28035164]
Okabe T, Toda T, Inafuku M, Wada K, Iwasaki H, Oku H. Antiatherosclerotic function of Kokuto, Okinawan noncentrifugal cane sugar. J Agric Food Chem 2009; 57(1): 69-75.
[] [PMID: 19072226]
Lee JS, Ramalingam S, Jo IG, et al. Comparative study of the physicochemical, nutritional, and antioxidant properties of some commercial refined and non-centrifugal sugars. Food Res Int 2018; 109: 614-25.
Inafuku M, Toda T, Okabe T, et al. Effect of Kokuto, a non-centrifugal cane sugar, on the development of experimental atherosclerosis in Japanese quail and apolipoprotein E deficient mice. Food Sci Technol Res 2007; 13(1): 61-6.
De Maria G. Panela: the natural nutritional sweetener. Agro Food Ind Hi-Tech 2013; 24(6): 44-8.
Takahashi M, Ishmael M, Asikin Y, et al. Composition, taste, aroma, and antioxidant activity of solidified noncentrifugal brown sugars prepared from whole stalk and separated pith of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.). J Food Sci 2016; 81(11): C2647-55.
[] [PMID: 27780296]
Shaheen N, Torab A, Rahim MA. Food composition table for Bangladesh University of Dhaka. 2013; pp. pp. 133-135.
Singh J, Solomen S, Kumar D. Manufacturing jaggery, a product of sugarcane, as health food. Agrotechnology 2013; 01(S11): 10-2.
Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ 2013; 346(7903): f1378.
[] [PMID: 23558164]
Velásquez F, Espitia J, Mendieta O, Escobar S, Rodríguez J. Non- centrifugal cane sugar processing: a review on recent advances and the influence of process variables on qualities attributes of final products. J Food Eng 2019; 255(March): 32-40.
Nakasone Y, Takara K, Wada K, Tanaka J, Yogi S, Nobuji N. Antioxidative compounds isolated from kokuto, non-centrifugal cane sugar. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1996; 60(10): 1714-6.
Haris Nayaka M, Sathisha U, Manohar M, Chandrashekar K, Shylaja MD. Cytoprotective and antioxidant activity studies of jaggery sugar. Food Chem 2009; 115(1): 113-8.
Feng S, Luo Z, Zhang Y, Zhong Z, Lu B. Phytochemical contents and antioxidant capacities of different parts of two sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) cultivars. Food Chem 2014; 151: 452-8.
[] [PMID: 24423556]
Asikin Y, Hirose N, Tamaki H, Ito S, Oku H, Wada K. Effects of different drying-solidification processes on physical properties, volatile fraction, and antioxidant activity of non-centrifugal cane brown sugar. Lebensm Wiss Technol 2016; 66: 340-7.
Phillips KM, Carlsen MH, Blomhoff R. Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar. J Am Diet Assoc 2009; 109(1): 64-71. [Internet].
[] [PMID: 19103324]
Payet B, Shum Cheong Sing A, Smadja J. Assessment of antioxidant activity of cane brown sugars by ABTS and DPPH radical scavenging assays: determination of their polyphenolic and volatile constituents. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53(26): 10074-9.
[] [PMID: 16366697]
Asikin Y, Takahashi M, Hirose N, Hou DX, Takara K, Wada K. Wax, policosanol, and long-chain aldehydes of different sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) cultivars. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 2012; 114(5): 583-91.
Jayadevan A, Chakravarthy D, Bal L, Dimple N, Author C. Comparative evaluation of cariogenic potential of natural and unrefined sweeteners on Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation and enamel demineralization-in vitro study. 2019. Available at:
Schroeder HA. Serum cholesterol and glucose levels in rats fed refined and less refined sugars and chromium. J Nutr 1969; 97(2): 237-42.
[] [PMID: 5767132]
Iqbal M, Afzal Qamar M, Bokhari TH, et al. Total phenolic, chromium contents and antioxidant activity of raw and processed sugars. Inf Process Agric 2017; 4(1): 83-9.
Ellis TP, Wright AG, Clifton PM, Ilag LL. Postprandial insulin and glucose levels are reduced in healthy subjects when a standardised breakfast meal is supplemented with a filtered sugarcane molasses concentrate. Eur J Nutr 2016; 55(8): 2365-76.
[] [PMID: 26410392]
Wright AG, Ellis TP, Ilag LL. Filtered molasses concentrate from sugar cane: natural functional ingredient effective in lowering the glycaemic index and insulin response of high carbohydrate foods. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2014; 69(4): 310-6.
[] [PMID: 25373842]
Ji J, Yang X, Flavel M, Shields ZPI, Kitchen B. Antioxidant and anti-diabetic functions of a polyphenol-rich sugarcane extract. J Am Coll Nutr 2019; 38(8): 670-80.
[] [PMID: 31008696]
Singh DK, Li L, Porter TD. Policosanol inhibits cholesterol synthesis in hepatoma cells by activation of AMP-kinase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006; 318(3): 1020-6.
[] [PMID: 16714400]
Awad K, Penson P, Banach M. D-003 (Saccharum officinarum): the forgotten lipid-lowering agent. Pharmacol Res 2016; 114: 42-6.
[] [PMID: 27751878]
Chen ZY, Jiao R, Ma KY. Cholesterol-lowering nutraceuticals and functional foods. J Agric Food Chem 2008; 56(19): 8761-73.
[] [PMID: 18778072]
Gnanaraj RA. Applications of sugarcane wax and it’s products: a review. Chemtech 2012; 4(2): 705-12.
Cho KH, Bae MA, Kim JR. Cuban sugar cane wax acid and policosanol showed similar atheroprotective effects with inhibition of ldl oxidation and cholesteryl ester transfer via enhancement of high-density lipoproteins functionality. Cardiovasc Ther 2019; 2019: 1.
Kimura Y, Okuda H, Arichi S. Effects of non-sugar fraction in black sugar on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism; Part I. Planta Med 1984; 50(6): 465-8.
[] [PMID: 6531407]
Perez Y, Mendndez R, Josd I. Effects of D-003, a mixture of sugarcane wax acids, on platelet aggregation in hypercholesterolemic patients. Artif Intell Med 2008; 69(I): 1118.
Arruzazabala MDL, Molina V, López E, et al. Effects of D-003, a mixture of sugarcane wax acids, on platelet aggregation in hypercholesterolemic patients: a dose-titration, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2008; 58(8): 376-84.
Karaye RM, Dikko AAU. Effects of cane brown sugar on lipids, liver enzymes and sex hormones profiles in male Wistar rats Effects of cane brown sugar on lipids, liver enzymes and sex hormones profiles in male Wistar rats. J Trop Biosci 2018; 13: 12-7.
Sejdini M, Meqa K, Berisha N, et al. The Effect of Ca and Mg concentrations and quantity and their correlation with caries intensity in school-age children. Int J Dent 2018; 2018: 2759040.
Osborn TWB, Noriskin JN, Staz J. A comparison of crude and refined sugar and cereals in their ability to produce in vitro decalcification of teeth. J Dent Res 1937; 16(3): 165-71.
Hujoel PP, Lingström P. Nutrition, dental caries and periodontal disease: a narrative review. J Clin Periodontol 2017; 44(Suppl. 18): S79-84.
[] [PMID: 28266117]
Takara K, Ushijima K, Wada K, Iwasaki H, Yamashita M. Phenolic compounds from sugarcane molasses possessing antibacterial activity against cariogenic bacteria. J Oleo Sci 2007; 56(11): 611-4.
[] [PMID: 17938552]
Harris S, Cleaton-Jones P. Oral health in a group of sugar-cane chewers. J Dent Assoc S Afr 1978; 33(5): 255-8.
[PMID: 287695]
Al–Zahawi SM, Al-Refai AS. The Relationship Between Calcium , Magnesium And Inorganic Phosphate of Human Mixed Saliva And Dental Caries. Mustansiria Dent J 2007; (2): 157-61.
Balhaddad AA, Kansara AA, Hidan D, Weir MD, Xu HHK, Melo MAS. Toward dental caries: exploring nanoparticle-based platforms and calcium phosphate compounds for dental restorative materials. Bioact Mater 2018; 4(1): 43-55.
[] [PMID: 30582079]
Al-Dulaijan YA, Cheng L, Weir MD, et al. Novel rechargeable calcium phosphate nanocomposite with antibacterial activity to suppress biofilm acids and dental caries. J Dent 2018; 72(February): 44-52.
[] [PMID: 29526668]
Takara K, Otsuka K, Wada K, Iwasaki H, Yamashita M. 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity and tyrosinase inhibitory effects of constituents of sugarcane molasses. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2007; 71(1): 183-91.
[] [PMID: 17213673]
Sharma CK, Sharma V. Nephroprotective effect of jaggery against acute and subchronic toxicity of acetaminophen in Wistar rats. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 2012; 31(3): 265-72.
[] [PMID: 23339700]
Singh N, Kumar D, Lal K, Raisuddin S, Sahu AP. Adverse health effects due to arsenic exposure: Modification by dietary supplementation of jaggery in mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2010; 242(3): 247-55. [Internet].
[] [PMID: 19874834]
Singh N, Kumar D, Raisuddin S, Sahu AP. Genotoxic effects of arsenic : Prevention by functional food-jaggery cancer Lett 2008; 325-0.
Kadam US, Ghosh SB, De S, Suprasanna P, Devasagayam TPA, Bapat VA. Antioxidant activity in sugarcane juice and its protective role against radiation induced DNA damage. Food Chem 2008; 106(3): 1154-60.
Abbas SR, Ahmad SD, Sabir SM, Shah AH, Awan S, Gohar M, et al. Antioxidant activity, repair and tolerance of oxidative DNA damage in different cultivars of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) leaves. Aust J Crop Sci 2013; 7(1): 40-5.
Guimarães CM, Gião MS, Martinez SS, et al. Antioxidant activity of sugar molasses, including protective effect against DNA oxidative damage. J Food Sci 2007; 72(1): C039-43.
[] [PMID: 17995870]
Eisa OA, Yudkin J. Some nutritional properties of unrefined sugar and its promotion of the survival of new-born rats. Br J Nutr 1985; 54(3): 593-603.
[] [PMID: 3870685]
Arcanjo FP, Pinto VP, Arcanjo MR, Amici MR, Amâncio OM. ffect of a beverage fortified with evaporated sugarcane juice on hemoglobin levels in preschool children Rev Panam Salud Publica/Pan Am J Public Heal 2009; 26(4): 350-4.

Rights & Permissions Print Export Cite as
© 2022 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy