Originally Posted by Alix
What is the difference?
To make molasses, the cane of a sugar plant is harvested and stripped of its leaves. Its juice is extracted usually by crushing or mashing, but also by cutting. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, which promotes the crystallization of the sugar
. The result of this first boiling and of the sugar crystals is first molasses
, which has the highest sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted from the source. Second molasses
is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slight bitter tinge to its taste.
The third boiling of the sugar syrup makes blackstrap molasses
. The term is an Americanism
dating from around 1920. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized and removed. The calorie content of blackstrap molasses is still mostly from the small remaining sugar content.
However, unlike refined sugars, it contains trace amounts of vitamins
and significant amounts of several minerals
. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium
, and iron
; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients.
Blackstrap has long been sold as a health supplement
. It is also used in the manufacture of ethyl alcohol
for industry and as an ingredient in cattle feed