What is Molasses?
Molasses is a substance that results from processing sugar cane, beets, and grapes into sugar. This substance is similar to honey because it’s also sweet but it has a darker brown or black color. The quality of this sugar production by-product is said to be dependent on the extraction method, on how much sugar is extracted, and on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet used.
When sugar cane is processed to make sugar, it undergoes a boiling process which will lead to the formation of sugar crystals. The remaining liquid in this process will now become the molasses. After the initial stage of boiling, the color of the molasses liquid or syrup is still light. It will become brown and black in the succeeding boiling of the sugar cane.
Much of molasses is used in the food industry. Because of its thick texture and bittersweet flavor, molasses is used to add flavor to a variety of food items like muffins, bread, and baked beans. Some people also use molasses as flavor additives to cereals and other sweet food products. Cattle feed may also have molasses as part of the ingredients. In terms of molasses’ nutritional value, it is said to contain more minerals than the basic sugar cane. People consume molasses for its calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and iron content.
Molasses is also used as a fermenting agent. Its main action is to help the growth of yeasts, bacteria, and mold which are the agents necessary in the fermentation process. But aside from its use in food items and processing, molasses is also used as a binding material in the construction industry. In the case of cement, molasses will allow for longer storage time since its effect will delay the cement setting for up to 24 hours. Other uses for molasses include as sand glue for molds used in casting and as binders to coal briquettes.