Refined Sugar vs. Raw Sugar

Refined Sugar vs. Raw Sugar

When it comes to sugar processing, the term “refined” means “to purify” or “make pure”. The sugar refining process separates sucrose from its original plant source material without bleaching or chemical manipulation. 

The sugar refining process happens in several stages. All Pure Cane Sugar starts at the same point:

  1. The Sugar Cane is crushed between rollers to extract the juice.
  2. The extracted juice is filtered and evaporated, then further purified by filtering and boiling to remove molasses and color.
  3. The crystals are spun in a centrifuge and evaporated.


At this point the unrefined sugar (also referred to as turbinado or unprocessed sugar) is finished production. It is packaged and sent to the store for you to purchase. Granulated white sugar continues to a refinery where it is washed, filtered and any non-sugar ingredients are removed. The refined sugar is then further processed into granulated form, dried and packaged.

Want to see the sugar refining process in a visual form? Check out this How Sugar is Processed infographic