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Brown sugar examples: Muscovado (top), dark brown (left), light brown (right)

Muscovado is a type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor.

Also known as "Barbados sugar", "molasses sugar" or "moist sugar", muscovado is very dark brown and slightly coarser and stickier than most brown sugars. Muscovado takes its flavor and color from its source, sugarcane juice. It offers good resistance to high temperatures and has a reasonably long shelf life. It is commonly used in baking recipes and making rum. Muscovado sugar can be used in most recipes where brown sugar is called for, by slightly reducing the liquid content of the recipe.[1]

Muscovado sugar has 11 calories/ 4 grams (approx. 1 tsp). When produced under regulated conditions, it is nutritionally richer than other brown sugars or refined sugar, and retains most of the natural minerals inherent in sugarcane juice, as shown in this chart:[2]

Mineral content of muscovado sugar (per 100 g):

This unrefined sugar can be used in coffee and other beverages, and was one of the most prominent export commodities of the Philippines, especially from the Negros region from the 19th century until the late 1970s.[3] The production of muscovado sugar in the Philippines, Barbados, and elsewhere had experienced a long period of decline when large mills took over sugar production from small farmers with small mills until consumer interest in healthy and organic foods revived interest in muscovado sugar, creating a new market for muscovado sugar production from small mills.[4]


  1. ^ Slashfood. "8 Ways to add Muscovado Sugar to a Recipe". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  2. ^ Sugar India. "Muscovado Sugar". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  3. ^ Larkin, John A. "Sugar and the Origins of Modern Philippine Society". Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  4. ^ Agriculture Business Week. "Muscovado Sugar : A New Sunshine Industry". Retrieved 2009-05-27.