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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Storing up on sugar

By Joseph Parish

As a survivalist it is in our best interests to investigate the wide variety of products which are available to sweeten up our foods. The active ingredient fructose is the basic sugar found in various fruits as well as honey. Maltose which is another sugar is often found in malted grains. Another less common sugar is pimentose which you will find in olives and lastly we encounter sucrose which is abundant in our usual table sugar.

In this article we will be discussing sucrose only. Sucrose is a refined product created from sugar cane or sugar beets. In fact our modern sugar is of such refinement that it easily approaches the 100 percent pure sucrose limit. This sweetener is just about indestructible if it is protected from any sort of moisture exposure. The brown sugar and the powdered sugar which we find in the grocery store are other variations of our common granulated sugar.

All our usual sweeteners are prone to crystallization such as cane syrup and even the corn syrup, honey, molasses or maple syrup. All are subject to mold during periods of long storage.
If you decide to can your sugar for long term survival storage you do not need to use oxygen absorbers in the jar as they will often cause the sugar to become hard and difficult to work with. If you encounter a situation where your stored sugar has become hard simply let it sit overnight in a sealed container along with an apple slice. 

When selecting sugar at your grocery store make certain it is clean and dry and presents no indications of insect infestation. Granulated sugar will never spoil however under certain conditions it can become lumpy or solid. In such case it is a simple process to pulverize it into small pieces once again. You can purchase sugar in various types of textures ranging from extremely course to that of very fine.

The very fine white granulated sugar known as confectioner or icing sugar can also be found as a course or fine versions. Usually the housewife will purchase either a 6X which is a very fine blend or a 10X which is the equivalent of an ultra fine texture. These are excellent for pastry use. Often the processor of the sugar will add a portion of corn-starch to the master batch in order to prevent it from caking up. Powdered sugar is more critical to moisture damage than our regular sugar and is extremely difficult to reclaim if it should become hard. 

Brown sugar is nothing more than regular graduated sugar with a bit of molasses and camel flavor added. The darker the sugar is the more molasses that is included in its makeup. All the brown sugar varieties must be protected from moisture or risk becoming hard 

All sugars have the same requirements of air tight containers which are insect proof and moisture resistant in order to provide for effective long term storage. In fact, I have used brown sugar which was six years old and normal white sugar which was much older all with no adverse effects. 

This article provides you with a starting point on selecting which sugar would be best for you to stock up on in your food storage pantry. Merely match the type with your chosen purpose.

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

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