Evaporated Cane Juice: it’s just sugar
If you’ve ever tried to make a complex gluten-free or vegan recipe you may have come across this ingredient: evaporated cane juice. It seemed self explanatory, maybe it was a liquid sugar like agave or something like corn syrup. If it’s a “juice” it’s definitely a liquid, right?
I too was shocked when I found out evaporated cane juice is a solid and is almost all too much like the commercialized sugar we use in most of our recipes. NPR notes in their article that the only difference is that white sugar is stripped of any molasses while evaporated cane juice still has some in it. As of now, we don’t have a definite answer for why some companies use that labeling instead of simple “sugar”. One guess is that it sounds more natural and appealable to people trying to avoid sugar.
The FDA released a guideline in which they say “Moreover, the use of “juice” in the name of a product that is essentially sugar is confusingly similar to the more common use of the term “juice” …”. This is only a guideline, so that means that the FDA can only suggest, not enforce, companies move away from using this terminology. Seeing that I use Domino Organic Sugar, which looks like evaporated cane juice yet doesn’t have the controversial term anywhere on the packaging, the use of the term has slowed.