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Non-centrifugal sugar (NCS), the technical name of the product obtained by evaporating the water in sugar cane juice, is known by many different names in the world, the most important being un-refined muscovado, whole cane sugar, panela (Latin America), jaggery (South Asia) and kokuto (Japan). Scientific research has been confirming that NCS has multiple health effects but it is still practically outside the current focus on functional foods and nutriceuticals. 46 academic publications have been identified which reports them. The highest frequency is immunological effects (26%), followed by anti-toxicity and cytoprotective effects (22%), anticariogenic effects (15%) and diabetes and hypertension effects (11%). Some of these effects can be traced to the presence of Fe and Cr, and others are suggested to be caused by antioxidants.
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Sugar Tech
An International Journal of Sugar Crops
and Related Industries
ISSN 0972-1525
Volume 14
Number 2
Sugar Tech (2012) 14:87-94
DOI 10.1007/s12355-012-0145-1
Health Effects of Non-Centrifugal Sugar
(NCS): A Review
Walter R.Jaffé
1 23
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Health Effects of Non-Centrifugal Sugar (NCS): A Review
Walter R. Jaffe
´
Received: 6 December 2011 / Accepted: 15 February 2012 / Published online: 8 March 2012
Society for Sugar Research & Promotion 2012
Abstract Non-centrifugal sugar (NCS), the technical
name of the product obtained by evaporating the water in
sugar cane juice, is known by many different names in
the world, the most important being un-refined musco-
vado, whole cane sugar, panela (Latin America), jaggery
(South Asia) and kokuto (Japan). Scientific research has
been confirming that NCS has multiple health effects but
it is still practically outside the current focus on func-
tional foods and nutriceuticals. 46 academic publications
have been identified which reports them. The highest
frequency is immunological effects (26%), followed by
anti-toxicity and cytoprotective effects (22%), anticario-
genic effects (15%) and diabetes and hypertension effects
(11%). Some of these effects can be traced to the pres-
ence of Fe and Cr, and others are suggested to be caused
by antioxidants.
Keywords Non-centrifugal sugar Panela Jaggery
Nutritional properties Antioxidative properties
Health effects
Introduction
Non-centrifugal sugar (NCS), the technical name used by
the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is a food
which used to be the dominant form of cane sugar con-
sumption before the large-scale production of refined sugar
for export markets after 1700 (Galloway 2000). It is still
consumed in most sugarcane growing regions and countries
of the world and known under many different names
(Table 1). The most common synonyms for NCS in the
scientific literature are jaggery, panela, kokuto, whole cane
sugar and unrefined brown or black sugar. NCS is obtained
by evaporating the water in sugar cane juice, that is, it is
essentially evaporated cane juice.
The displacement of NCS by refined sugar is part of
broad changes in global food consumption patterns char-
acterized by growing consumption of fats, refined sugar
and flours, leading to a large increase of the caloric intake,
a ‘‘nutrition transition’’ linked to the development of
obesity and related diseases of diabetes, strokes and others
(Popkins 2006). Increasing recognition of the negative
impacts of current dominant diets and sedentary behavioral
patterns is a crucial precondition for their reversal and of
the enabling of successful aging. ‘‘Natural’’ and ‘‘organic’
products are increasingly popular, attaining significant
market shares in many countries. This opens an opportunity
for the revival of NCS.
Scientific research has been confirming significant
positive health effects of NCS and its precursor products.
We have identified 46 academic publications which report
some health effect. The highest frequency is immunologi-
cal effects (26%), followed by anti-toxicity and cytopro-
tective effects (22%), anticariogenic effects (15%) and
diabetes and hypertension effects (11%). But NCS is
practically outside the current focus on functional foods
and nutriceuticals as shown, for example, by the fact that
no sugarcane products at all are included in the databases
of antioxidant properties and phenolic compounds in foods
created in the last few years, such as the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) databases on oxygen
radical absorbance capacity, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins
W. R. Jaffe
´(&)
Innovaciones Alimentarias INNOVAL, Calle Paguey, Qta. Irazu,
La Trinidad, Caracas, Venezuela
e-mail: wjaffe@cantv.net
123
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DOI 10.1007/s12355-012-0145-1
Author's personal copy
and the French national institute for agronomic research dat-
abases on phenolics (USDA 2010,2007,2004; Neveu et al.
2010). Also, no sugarcane products were found in the food lists
in some of the recent reviews on antioxidants and phenolics in
the human diet (Halvorsen et al. 2002; Devasagayan et al.
2004;Blomhoff2005; Dimitrios 2006; Petti and Scully 2009).
One probable reason for this omission is the confusion and lack
of awareness created by the use of different names for the same
or related products used in different countries. Another factor
is that research on NCS and related products is scattered in
different fields, with insufficient interdisciplinary perspectives
and published in local languages, like Spanish or Japanese.
This review therefore aims at highlighting the importance of
NCS by producing an integrated picture of the current status on
its health effects on humans and to suggest directions for
further research.
The academic publications on the health effects of NCS
for this review were identified principally with the google
scholar search facility, systematically using a predefined
set of key words related to health, each time combined with
one of the following denominations for NCSs: NCS, raw
sugar, whole cane sugar, panela, jaggery, kokuto, brown
sugar, black sugar, piloncillo and rapadura. For each search
result a maximum of 10 consecutive pages of references
were examined. The search was conducted from October to
November 2010.
Health Effects of NCS
The first paper found mentioning a health effect of NCS is a
South African of 1937 reporting the protective effect of raw
sugar on the decalcification of teeth (Osborn et al. 1937a),
followed by a report on the effect of panela consumption on
anemia (Jaffe and Ochoa 1949). John Yudkin, an eminent
British nutritionist, studying the difference between refined
and unrefined ingredients of the diet, discovered in 1951 that
unrefined muscovado promotes the survival of new-born rats
and postulated the existence in it of a ‘‘reproductive factor R’
required for the proper viability of rat pups (Wiesner and
Yudkin 1951). These findings were reconfirmed by Yudkin
25 year latter (Eisa and Yudkin 1985), when trying to repli-
cate the work of two Soviet scientists who reported extensive
positive health effects, such as promotion of growth, etc., of
unrefined sugar on rats (Brekhman and Nesterenko 1983). He
cautiously concluded that ‘‘in certain circumstances, unre-
fined muscovado sugar might contribute to the nutritional
value of a human diet’’ (Eisa and Yudkin 1985).
The systematic and sustained research on the health
effects of NCS started in Japan in the 1980s, where several
groups from companies, universities and government
institutions discovered various physiological effects of
kokuto, the typical NCS from Okinawa, joined more
recently by groups in other countries.
Table 1 Names for NCS Region Country Name
Asia India, Pakistan Jaggery, Gur
Thailand Namtan Tanode
Japan Kokuto, black sugar (Kuro Sato)
Philippines Moscavado, Panocha, Panutsa
Sri Lanka Hakuru, Vellam
Malaysia Gula Melaka
Indonesia Gula Java, Gula Merah
Latin America Mexico Piloncillo
Guatemala Panela
Costa Rica Tapa dulce
Panama Panela, Raspadura
Colombia, Ecuador Panela
Venezuela Papelo
´n, Panela
Peru, Bolivia Chancaca
Brazil Rapadura
Argentina Azucar integral, azucar panela
Africa Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa Jaggery
Swahili speaking countries Sukari Njumru
Europe, North America UK Brown sugar, un-refined muscovado
Germany Vollrohrzucker
USA Raw sugar, brown sugar, muscovado
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Nutritional Effects
An early study in 1949 with anemic rats indicated that iron
in panela is readily absorbed, producing high hemoglobin
levels in 18 days (Jaffe and Ochoa 1949). Two recent
studies support these findings in humans. One in Ecuador
found that iron adsorption from wheat noodle soup was
significantly higher consumed with lemonade sweetened
with panela (11%), compared with the same meal without
lemonade, in 13 women and measured by a double isotopic
method (Olivares et al. 2007). A statistical significant
increase in hemoglobin in pre-school children was dem-
onstrated in a 12 weeks randomized, controlled double
blind trial, with the consumption of a beverage of panela
with ascorbic acid, in Brazil (Arcanjo et al. 2009). These
are still few evidences for this potentially very important
health effect of NCS. If further studies confirm the high
bioavailability of the iron in NCS by humans it would
suggest new strategies to fight anemia in many countries.
Current strategies focus on enhancement of diets and die-
tary patterns as well as on food fortification with iron and
direct supplementation of iron intake (WHO 2001), and
more recently on the so called biofortification, which seeks
to increase the iron content in staple crops by genetic
means or by fertilization (Sautter and Gruissem 2010;
Carmak 2010). The development of mass-consumption
products based on NCS, a soda beverage for example,
would be a relatively cheap and market-attuned strategy,
which could be industrially and commercially attractive.
Anticariogenic Effects
The early South African research already mentioned
incubated teeth with saliva for 2–8 weeks. The presence of
refined sugar induced a high degree of decalcification,
whether crude cane juice caused very few cases. The
presence of a protective agent, which is removed in the
course of sugar refining was postulated (Osborn et al.
1937a). Calcium glycerophosphate was found to be very
effective in protecting the teeth against in vitro decalcifi-
cation, more than a mixture of lactate and sodium glycer-
ophosphate. After this initial lead, the caries-preventive
effect of phosphate additives was demonstrated in vivo,
with cariogenic diets fed to rats (Osborn et al. 1937b). The
specific effect of different sugars was further explored and
the existence of factors reducing the solubility rate of
enamel in cane juice and other sugar cane derivatives was
confirmed (Edgar and Jenkins 1967). The powerful effect
of crude sugar on enamel solubility in buffers is observed
after 4 h incubation with saliva but is reduced or abolished
after 24 h. This is attributed to the action of Ca, Fe and Cu
ions (Jenkins 1970). The consensus in the 1970s then was
that phosphates and, particularly, tri-phosphates are
effective compounds for reducing dental caries in experi-
mental animals and in vitro, even in the presence of high
sugar cariogenic diets (McLure 1964). The specific inhi-
bition of phosphatase enzymes by phosphates was postu-
lated as a possible mechanism of action, as well as the
ability of phosphates to elute proteins adsorbed onto
enamel (Kreitzman 1974). A longitudinal survey with
children in Switzerland reported a significant reduction of
decayed teeth incidence due to consumption of unrefined
‘complete’’ sugar (Beguin and Schouker 1995).
The cariostatic effect of NCS was then presumably due
to its content of phosphates. But a synergistic effect of
adding phosphates to a brown sugar diet on inhibition of
dental caries in hamsters suggested that additional bioac-
tive substances were present (Stralfors 1966). This has
been also found more recently by a collaboration of the
Ryukyus University and Toiyo Kagaku Co. from Japan
which reported the isolation of two phenolic bioactive
compounds from sugar cane molasses (dehydrodiconifer-
ylalcohol-90-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and isoorientin-7,30-
O-dimethyl ether), which have inhibitory properties against
the cariogenic bacteria Streptococcus mutans and Strepto-
coccus sobrinus comparable to commercial anti-bacterial
agents (Takara et al. 2007a). A glucosyl-transferase inhi-
bition effect is suggested.
Antitoxic and Cytoprotective Effects
The observation that industrial workers in dusty or smoky
environments seemed to experience no discomfort if they
consumed jaggery led researchers from the industrial toxi-
cology research centre in India to study this phenomenon.
Experiments with rats showed enhanced translocation of
particles from lungs in jaggery-fed animals. Jaggery also
reduced the coal-induced histological lesions and
hydroxyproline content of lungs (Sahu and Saxena 1994).
The same group, together with researchers from the Jamia
Hamdard University, has more recently shown that jaggery
has an anti-arsenic-toxicity effect in mice. Supplementation
of diet with jaggery reduced the incidence of chromosomal
aberrations in arsenic treated mice (Singh et al. 2008).
Jaggery fed to mice prevented the reduction of total anti-
oxidants, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase
and the increase of interleukin-1b, interleukin-6 and TNF-a
in serum, lessened the genotoxic effects of arsenic in bone-
marrow cells and antagonized the lesions associated with
emphysema and thickening of alveolar septa (Singh et al.
2010). A collaborative effort between the University of Sao
Paulo, Brazil, and the University of Havana, Cuba, identi-
fied a protective effect of a phenolic extract from sugarcane
juice against in vivo MeHgCl intoxication, suggesting a link
between antioxidant activity of sugarcane products and its
antitoxicity effects (Duarte-Almeida et al. 2006).
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These findings are important, particularly the ones
related to arsenic poisoning, given the grave public health
problems in parts of Bangladesh and India due to
groundwater contamination with arsenic (Safiuddin 2001;
Singh et al. 2010), meriting their direct confirmation in
humans through statistically significant epidemiological or
clinical trials.
A collaborative study by researchers from the National
Institute of Animal Health, the Tokyo University of Agri-
culture and Technology and the Mitsui Sugar Co., in Japan,
the Tanta University in Egypt and the Chungbuk National
University of the Republic of Korea found in 2005 that the
administration of a sugar cane extract (SCE), the non-sugar
fraction of concentrated sugarcane juice (the prior step in
obtaining kokuto), before X-ray radiation of chicken,
increased their survival rate 18.8% compared with the
irradiated control (Amer et al. 2005). Histological exami-
nation showed reduced damage to the intestines, pointing
to a cytoprotective effect. A group of the Bhabha Atomic
Research Centre, in Mumbai, India, reported a protective
role of sugarcane juice against radiation induced DNA
damage, using E. coli and pBR322 plasmids in vivo models
(Kadam et al. 2008). The ability of sugarcane juice to
scavenge free radicals, reduce iron complex and inhibit
lipid peroxidation are thought to explain possible mecha-
nisms by which sugarcane juice exhibits this effect. Other
research has shown that sugarcane products also protect
DNA and cells against oxidative damage. A collaborative
study by groups from Portugal, USA and Spain in 2007
reported that extracts from molasses obtained through
chromatographic steps exhibited significant antioxidative
features and protected against in vitro induced DNA oxi-
dative damage, via decreased DNA scission, as assessed by
electrophoresis (Guimaraes et al. 2007).
The antioxidative and cytoprotection activity is also
found in jaggery, suggesting that the bioactive compounds
behind these properties are carried over from juice to NCS.
Researchers from the Central Food Technological Research
Institute and the University of Mysore, India, reported that
a 4 mg/ml concentration of jaggery provided a 97% pro-
tection in a NIH 3T3 cells oxidation research model (Harish
Nayaka et al. 2009). Following the lead provided by the
fact that brown sugar has been traditionally used as a
treatment for skin problems in oriental medicine, a group
from the Ehine Graduate School of Medicine and the
Foundation of International Oriental Medicine Research
demonstrated that topical application for 19 weeks of a
non-sugar fraction of brown sugar prevented chronic UVB-
induced aging of the skin in a in vivo model with melanin-
possessing hairless mice (Sumiyoshi et al. 2009). It is
suggested that this may be due to the inhibition of the
increase in matrix metalloproteinase-2 and vascular endo-
thelial growth factor expression.
SCE has been shown by researchers from Japanese,
Egyptian, Finnish, South Korean and Thai universities and
a Japanese sugar company to have functionally and mor-
phologically intestinal reconstituting effects on chicken,
with significant consequences for bodyweight gains, indi-
cating a possible role in animal nutrition (El-Abasy et al.
2004; Amer et al. 2004; Yamauchi et al. 2006; Ruttanarut
et al. 2010).
Diabetes and Hypertension
The effects of NCS on blood health parameters was one of
the earliest issues studied, as pointed out before. Yudkin
could not replicate the supposedly beneficial effects of
muscovado consumption on carbohydrate metabolism
reported by Brekhman and Nesterenko in 1983. To the
contrary, he found that compared with sucrose, un-refined
sugar produced an increase of blood cholesterol and tri-
glycerides and in the activity of the hepatic fatty acid
synthetase (Eisa and Yudkin 1985).
Schroeder, in the course of research into the nutritional
effects of trace metals, studying the effect of chromium(III)
in the diet, found to the contrary that serum cholesterol
levels were relatively elevated and increased with age in
rats fed white sugar, compared with rats fed brown sugar
with higher levels of chromium(III). Fasting serum glucose
was relatively low in rats fed brown sugar, suggesting that
chromium(III) can lower cholesterol and glucose levels in
serum (Schroeder 1969; Schroeder et al. 1971). Today it is
widely accepted that chromium(III) is an essential nutrient,
with toxic properties at high levels (Eastmond et al. 2008).
Schroeder0s work then, identified NCS as a good source of
the chromium(III) needed in human nutrition.
NCS is equally hyperglycaemic with sucrose and honey,
as reported by Uma et al. from the Madras Medical College
in India (1987). Therefore, any antidiabetic effect should
be more long term. Kimura et al. at Ehine University and
The Research Institute of Oriental Medicine in Japan
(1984), reported that the non-sugar fraction of crude black
sugar (kokuto) inhibited the elevation of serum triglycer-
ides, lipid peroxidase and insulin of rats fed a high sucrose
diet for 61 days, without elevation of plasma glucose.
Furthermore, it was found that this non-sugar fraction
inhibited the adsorption of glucose and fructose from the
small intestine of rats. The active substances for this effect
were identified as 3,4-dimethyl-phenyl-O-D-glucoside and
3,4,6-trimethoxy-phenyl-O-D-glucoside (BS-1) (Kimura et al.
1984). BS-1 also reduced plasma insulin without elevating
plasma glucose. Inafuku et al. confirmed these results in an
apolipoprotein E-deficient-mice in vivo model, finding that
dietary intake of kokuto reduced liver triglycerides levels and
body weight, but not in a Japanese quail research model (In-
afuku et al. 2007). These results could not be replicated by
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Okabe et al. (2009) from Kagoshima and The Ryukyus uni-
versities in Japan who, working with an essentially similar
extract obtained from kokuto, found no significant decrease of
total cholesterol and triglycerides serumlevel in feeding trials
with Japanese quails. The discrepancy is attributed to the
lower dose of extract used (Okabe et al. 2009). But in vitro
experiments by Galvez et al. (2008) from the University of
Sao Paulo in Brazil and the University of Massachusetts in the
US found that dark muscovado from Peru and Mauritius
showed moderate inhibition of yeast a-glucosidase, without
showing a significant effect on porcine pancreatic a-amylase,
key enzymes relevant to Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
NCS contains a small amount of policosanols, particu-
larly octacosanol (Asikin et al. 2008). These compounds
have been credited with blood lipid lowering activity, giving
rise to commercial offers of sugar cane derived food sup-
plements, claims that have not been independently repli-
cated (Berthold et al. 2000). Okabe et al. found that dietary
intake of octacosanol in NCS had no significant effect on
serum lipids level in Japanese quails (Okabe et al. 2009).
If the issue of the antidiabetes effects of NCS is still to
be resolved, firmer evidence for antiatherosclerosis effects
seems to exist. Inafuku et al. (2007) reported that kokuto
prevents lipid-containing aortic intimate thickening lesions
in Japanese quail, but not so in apolipoprotein E-deficient-
mice. This difference is attributed to the high susceptibility
of this strain of mice to early atherosclerosis. The reduction
in aortic lesions is thought to be related to the phenolics
content of kokuto. The same research groups confirmed
later that dietary intakes of kokuto prevented the devel-
opment of atherosclerosis in Japanese quails (Okabe et al.
2009). Supplementation of the diet with kokuto and with
phenolic compounds extracted from kokuto significantly
reduced the development of atherosclerosis as compared to
the ingestion of sucrose. There was a significant negative
correlation between the sera radical-scavenging-activity
and the degree of atherosclerosis in the experimental
groups. Therefore phenolic compounds played a central
role in the prevention of this experimental atherosclerosis,
probably by improving oxidative stress in aortic lesions.
Immunological Effects
In a series of papers published from 2002 to 2007, various
collaborations between the National Institute of Animal
Health, the University of Tokyo and the Shin Mitsui Sugar
Co., in Japan, and institution in Egypt, South Korea,
Thailand, Taiwan and Finland reported growth promoting,
immunostimulating, adjuvant and infection protective
effects of oral administration of SCE, and of polyphenol-
rich fractions of them, in chicken, pigs and mice. Chicken
fed SCE for 3 or 6 consecutive days significantly increased
their body weight and bodyweight increase per day, and
reduced their food conversion ratios, showing also signif-
icantly higher immune responses against sheep red blood
cells, Brucella abortus and Salmonella enteritis, as well as
protection against Eimeria tenella infection. Polymorpho-
nuclear cells of the peripheral blood significantly increased
their phagocytosis when cultured with SCE for 24 h.
Delayed type hypersensitivity responses to human gamma
globulin also increased significantly (El-Abasy et al. 2002;
El-Abasy et al. 2003a,b; El-Abasy et al. 2004; Hikosaka
et al. 2007). SCE administration also had preventive and
therapeutic effects on X-rays and cyclophosphamide
induced immunosuppression and feed-withdrawal stress in
chicken (Amer et al. 2004).
In the case of pigs, SCE significantly enhanced cyto-
toxicity of natural killer cells and phagocytosis by neu-
trophils and monocytes, interferon gamma production, as
well as growth-enhancement and protection against por-
cine-reproductive-respiratory syndrome (Lo et al. 2005;Lo
et al. 2006). In a mouse model, SCE inhibited and pro-
tected the animals against endotoxic lethal shock. Supple-
mentation of SCE to peritoneal macrophages cultured with
lipopolysacharide (LPS) resulted in a significant reduction
of nitric oxide (NO) production. A peritoneal, but not
intravenous or oral, administration of SCE, 3–48 h before
LPS ?GalN challenge, resulted in a significantly
improved survival rate (92.3%) and decrease of liver
injury, suggesting as one of possible action mechanism of
this effect the suppression of NO production (Hikosaka
et al. 2006; Motobu et al. 2006).
Anticarcinogenesis
Anticarcinogenic effects of sugar cane derivatives have
been reported. A Japanese group found them in sugar cane
vinegar in in vitro and in vivo experiments. The vinegar
depressed the reverse mutation in Salmonella typhimurium
TA98 induced by mutagens. The bioactive component
extracted by chromatography, estimated to be a phenolic,
effectively depressed the proliferation of a promyelocytic
leukaemia cell line. Its administration as a 5% mouse diet
significantly stimulated the activity of killer cells and
showed a tendency to depress the proliferation of tumour
cells (Yoshimoto et al. 2008). A glycoside, extracted from
sugar cane juice by a Brazilian group showed in vitro
antiproliferative activity against several human cancer cell
lines with a higher selectivity towards cells of breast
resistant NIC/ADR line (Duarte-Almeida et al. 2007).
Skin Whitening
Abnormal pigmentation of the human skin can be an aes-
thetic problem. The inhibition of melanin tyrosinase, a key
enzyme in the biosynthesis of melanin, the human skin
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pigment, is one therapeutic strategy used. Many natural and
synthetic inhibitors of this type have been found (Chang
2009). The first report of effects of sugar cane products on
the human skin was published in Japan in 1993 (Yamashita
et al. 1993). More recently, a group from the Ryukyus
University and the Toyko Kagaku Co. identified two bio-
active phenolic compounds (Tachioside and DDMP) iso-
lated from sugar cane molasses, with radical scavenging
and tyrosinase inhibition activity (Takara et al. 2007b).
Potential Negative Effect
A potential health hazard in NCS is the presence of
acrylamide. This substance is suspected to be carcinogenic
and forms when carbohydrates and the amino acid aspar-
agine are subjected to high temperatures, as during baking,
frying and roasting (Dybing et al. 2005). Its presence in
common foods, such as fried potatoes, bread and coffee,
was detected in 2000 (Reynolds 2002). Acrylamide is
present in NCS, as data from Germany shows (Hoenicke
and Gaterman 2005).
After an initial scare the consensus today is that
‘adverse effects are.unlikely at the estimated average
intakes’’, but that nevertheless it constitutes a human health
concern (FAO-WHO 2005,2010). Mitigation strategies
based on controlling heat exposure of the food are theo-
retically effective in reducing its formation, but have still to
show a significant impact.
Research Outlook
This review shows that there are strong indications that the
consumption of NCS has many health effects, some of
them potentially important for public health. But in no case
has this been unambiguously demonstrated, that is, suffi-
ciently documented and replicated. This demonstration
should identify the bioactive substances, their activity in in
vitro and in vivo research models, and their effectiveness in
clinical or human consumption trials or epidemiological
analysis. Ideally, their bioavailability, metabolic fate and
molecular action mechanism should be known. Elements
like Fe and Cr, and several phenolic compounds are bio-
active substances already identified in NCS.
The health effects which seem to be the most promising
or important ones in the short term are the effect on anemia
and the anti-arsenic-toxicity effect, because of their rele-
vance to specific public health issues in defined countries.
Anemia is an important global health issue, particularly for
developing countries, and arsenic intoxication is important
in Bangladesh and India (Singh et al. 2010). Examples of
studies required for strengthening the existing evidence for
the effect of NCS consumption on anemia are the
replication of consumption trials with different groups and
different foods; defining the effects of chemical or physical
characteristics of the food incorporating NCS on bio-
availability; dosage studies for optimizing effects; identi-
fying the factors affecting iron content in NCS; among
others.
Many of the reviewed health effects of NCS are thought to
be based on the presence of anti-oxidative components,
particularly polyphenols. Polyphenols and other antioxi-
dants are thought to protect cell constituents against oxida-
tive damage through scavenging of free radicals (Scalbert
et al. 2005). But increasingly it is becoming clear that the
effects are much broader. Evidences for direct interactions of
them with receptors or enzymes involved in cellular signal
transduction, for example, shows that their effect on the
redox status of the cells goes beyond their scavenging of free
radicals. So, the biological effects of polyphenols may well
extent beyond oxidative stress (Scalbert et al. 2005; Korkina
2007). Anyhow, the health effects of antioxidants, and par-
ticularly of polyphenols, have still not been scientifically
demonstrated, that is, a cause-effect relationship between
antioxidants in food and a health effect has not been estab-
lished, as the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA)
recently concluded (2010). This is a prerequisite for the
approval of any health claim for foods.
The search of antioxidants in NCS and other sugarcane
derived products is part of the extended interest in anti-
oxidant phenolics since 1995 (Scalbert et al. 2005), driven
by the quest of exploiting their putative health effect
through food supplements or pharmaceuticals. Many of the
Japanese studies, for example, have been in collaboration
or with the support of sugar companies looking for new
business opportunities and which have patented processes
for use of sugarcane extracts for health purposes (see, for
example, Araki et al. 2006). But the full characterization of
the antioxidant capabilities and effects of NCS will need a
much broader scientific effort, involving not only many
more industries but also the support of governments and
national and international NGOs and funding bodies.
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... NCS is richer in minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols than refined sugar. (4,5) Furthermore, it contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and have antitoxic, cytoprotective, and anticarcinogenic effects. (4) Several studies revealed a preventive effect of NCS on neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and anemia. ...
... (4,5) Furthermore, it contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and have antitoxic, cytoprotective, and anticarcinogenic effects. (4) Several studies revealed a preventive effect of NCS on neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and anemia. (4,5) In addition, NCS manufactured in Okinawa contains more polyphenols, i.e., saponarin, schaftoside, and isoschaftoside, than other brown sugars. ...
... (4) Several studies revealed a preventive effect of NCS on neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and anemia. (4,5) In addition, NCS manufactured in Okinawa contains more polyphenols, i.e., saponarin, schaftoside, and isoschaftoside, than other brown sugars. (6) Polyphenols are naturally occurring bioactive compounds found abundantly in plants and fruit-based diets that contain one or more aromatic rings and two or more hydroxyl groups. ...
Article
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This study examined the bioactivities and mechanisms of the non-centrifugal cane sugar polyphenols saponarin, schaftoside, and isoschaftoside in the salivary gland and their effects on salivation. In acute isolated C57BL/6N mouse submandibular gland cells, these polyphenols led to a higher increase in intracellular calcium after stimulation with the muscarinic agonist carbachol. Stimulation of these cells with polyphenols enhanced ATP production, aquaporin-5 translocation to the plasma membrane and eliminated intracellular reactive oxygen species generated by H2O2. In addition, phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and increased nitric oxide production in vascular endothelial cells were observed. In vivo administration of these polyphenols to C57BL/6N male mice resulted in significantly increased blood flow (saponarin, p = 0.040; isoschaftoside, p = 0.010) and salivation (saponarin, p = 0.031). A randomized controlled trial showed that intake of non-centrifugal cane sugar significantly increased saliva secretion compared with placebo (p = 0.003). These data suggest that non-centrifugal cane sugar polyphenols affect several pathways that support salivation and increase saliva secretion by enhancing vasodilation. Hence, non-centrifugal cane sugar polyphenols can be expected to maintain saliva secretion and improve reduced saliva flow.
... El azúcar no centrifugado (Non-Centrifuged Sugar -NCS, por sus siglas en inglés), es el término técnico (FAO, 1994) que se le da al azúcar sin refinar típico que se produce por la deshidratación del jugo de caña de azúcar (Saccharum officinarum L.) sin centrifugar (Ge et al., 2021;Weerawatanakorn et al., 2021). El azúcar no centrifugado está disponible en muchos países con diferentes nombres locales, incluidos panela (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panamá), piloncillo (México), papelón (Venezuela), chancaca (Chile, Perú) rapadura (Brasil, Argentina), jaggery (India), Kokuto (Japón) y Gula Melaka (Malasia) (Asikin et al., 2014;Jaffé, 2012). ...
... La panela también denominada azúcar no centrifugado (ANC) por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (ONUAA, o más conocida como FAO por sus siglas en inglés), es un producto sólido sin refinar obtenido por evaporación del jugo de caña de azúcar (FAO, 1994). Se ha consumido tradicionalmente como edulcorante en la mayoría de las regiones productoras de caña de azúcar del mundo, donde se le conoce con muchos nombres diferentes, los más comunes son jaggery y gur (sur de Asia), panela (algunos países de América Latina), chancaca (Perú), Piloncillo (México) moscovado (Filipinas), raspadura y azúcar mascavo (Brasil) y kokuto (Japón) (Asikin et al., 2014;Jaffé, 2012). ...
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Full-text available
En Colombia el azúcar no centrifugado, conocido como panela es un alimento ancestral extraído de la caña de azúcar mediante métodos tradicionales sin refinar. Los hongos formadores de micorrizas arbusculares (HFMA) ayudan al intercambio y movilidad de nutrientes al asociarse con plantas, mejorando la calidad y rendimiento en diferentes sistemas productivos. Por tanto, el objetivo de este trabajo fue evaluar el efecto de la inoculación con HFMA en el cultivo de la caña de azúcar sobre el rendimiento y la calidad en panela. El estudio se desarrolló en la localidad de Suaita-Santander, en donde se estableció un diseño completo al azar, con tres repeticiones y cuatro tratamientos (T1: Acaulospora mellea, T2: Rhizophagus irregularis, T3: Control 50% y T4: Control 100% de fertilización) en dos variedades de caña de azúcar (CC 93-7711 y CC 93-7510). Las variables analizadas fueron altura de la planta, diámetro del tallo, contenido de clorofila, índice de madurez, absorción de nutrientes, materia seca, toneladas de caña por hectárea (TCH), toneladas de panela por hectárea (TPH) y conversión a panela, adicionalmente en jugos y panela se determinaron azúcares reductores, sólidos totales, pH, humedad, sacarosa y fósforo soluble. Se presentaron diferencias significativas en la variedad CC93-7711 en el índice de madurez y la absorción de N, S, Fe, y Mn con el T2, contenido de clorofila a los 15 meses después de trasplante (mdt) con T1 y T2, y mayor contenido de azucares reductores en panela con el T1, en las demás variables se observó un beneficio de la inoculación con respecto a los controles, siendo T2 el tratamiento con los mayores valores en TCH; y T1 con mayores valores de conversión a panela, azúcares reductores, fósforo soluble y sólidos totales. En la variedad 93-7510 se evidenció que A. mellea interactúa con la humedad, sólidos totales y pH, R irregularis con fósforo soluble, pureza, sacarosa y temperatura. Se encontró interacción de R. irregularis y A. mellea con la calidad y rendimiento en panela, obteniéndose resultados prometedores a nuevos estudios de estos microorganismos para potencializar la sostenibilidad y competitividad de la caña panelera.
... India and is a widespread part of the Indian subcontinent's cuisines in the processing of many sweet 442 dishes such as candy, toffees, jaggery cakes and other similar sweet dishes such as payasam, ob-443 battu (holige) and unday (Jaffé, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Refined sugar is a processed product containing 99% sucrose, which is obtained from sugarcane (70%) or sugar beet (30%). In modern societies, sugar continues to play a significant role in the diet, recognised not only for its flavour and special sweetening properties but also for its role in food preservation. On the other hand, a high consumption of refined sugar is associated with non-communicable diseases and many health issues such as a high risk of dental caries, overweight and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Alternatives like unrefined sugars have generated a lot of interest as a healthy substitute due to their nutraceutical properties. This paper is aimed to review the beneficial effects of sugar derived from natural sources and highlight health problems that could be caused by refined processed sugar. Refined sugar is frequently used in variety of items including processed foods, soft drinks or ice creams although it is considered unhealthy due to its high salt and sugar content as well as added fats and artificial coloring. Natural sugars are preferred because they have a high nutritional value and a high concentration of healthy compounds, which offset the negative effects of refined sugar. Therefore, removing refined sugar or at least reducing its consumption should be promoted as a healthier option in food choices.
... Research Line 2-NCS as a healthy compound in pharmaceutic and cosmetic products (red cluster) comprises specialized research on NCS application on medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetic industries due to its phenolic, flavonoids, minerals, phosphates, anthocyanins, oligosaccharides, and vitamins content. Seven research documents (2,5%) present this emerging focus of NCS uses mainly due to policosanol content Gayathry et al. 2021); phenolic content (Wijayanti et al. 2021); health effects (Chinnadurai 2017;Yang et al. 2020), and cytoprotective functions (Jaffé 2012;Pandiar et al. 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Food science innovation depends on consumers' needs and is currently seeking functional food with health effects. Non-centrifugal cane sugar (NCS) is known for its potential health effects, but there is a lack of holistic analysis on technological advancement and socio-economic and market trends for decision-making in the development of the technology. The aim of this article was to analyse the research trends, recent patents, and market trends and niches for NCS to structure an NCS technological roadmap. Scientometric, bibliometric methods, and global and local market information on NCS were used. Comprehensive analysis of the worldwide research trends and patents on NCS processing and of the growth of the main niche markets for Colombian NCS exports in the last five years was conducted. Finally, with the information obtained, an NCS technological roadmap was structured, which can be used as a tool for planning innovation processes and supporting the development of new research using market information and new norms forged by the COVID-19 pandemic for Colombian case. Furthermore, the methodological design could be used for other NCS producer countries. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12355-022-01200-9.
... Su presentación comercial es en forma sólida (bloques) o en forma granulada. El NCS está disponible en muchos países con diferentes nombres locales, incluidos panela (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panamá), raspadura (Brasil, Cuba, Bolivia, Panamá), piloncillo (México), papelón (Venezuela), chancaca (Chile, Perú), jaggery (India), Kokuto (Japón) y Gula Melaka (Malasia) (Jaffé, 2012); (Asikin y col., 2014). Colombia es el segundo productor de panela (NCS) en el mundo después de la India, con un área anual de caña para la producción reportado para el 2020 de 192863 ha con un rendimiento de 6,5 tha -1 (MADR, 2021). ...
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Introducción: En Colombia la panela es un alimento ancestral obtenido por concentración a partir de extracción de jugos de la caña azucarera. Los Hongos Formadores de Micorrizas Arbusculares (HFMA) ayudan al intercambio y movilidad de nutrientes al asociarse con plantas, mejorando la calidad y rendimiento en diferentes sistemas productivos. Objetivo: Evaluar el efecto de la inoculación con HFMA en el cultivo de la caña de azúcar sobre el rendimiento y la calidad en panela. Materiales y Métodos: El estudio se desarrolló en Suaita, Santander, bajo un diseño de bloques completos al azar, por triplicado con cuatro tratamientos (T1: Acaulospora mellea, T2: Rhizophagus irregularis, T3: Control 50% y T4: Control 100% de fertilización). Las variables en caña fueron índices de madurez y toneladas por hectárea, y en panela se determinaron rendimiento, toneladas por hectárea, conversión a panela, azúcares reductores, sólidos totales, pH, humedad, sacarosa y fósforo soluble. Resultados y Discusión: Se presentaron diferencias significativas (P>0,05) en el índice de madurez con el T2 y mayor contenido de azúcares reductores en panela con el T1, en las demás variables se observó un beneficio de la inoculación respecto los controles, siendo T2 el tratamiento con valores altos en producción de tallos.ha-1, toneladas caña.ha-1; y T1 en conversión a panela, azúcares reductores, fósforo soluble y sólidos totales. Conclusiones: Se encontró interacción de R. irregularis y A. mellea con la calidad y rendimiento en panela, obteniéndose resultados prometedores del uso de estos microorganismos para potencializar la sostenibilidad y competitividad de la caña azucarera para panela.
... Apart from sugar, NCS also contains various amino acids, proteins, organic acids, phenols, flavonoids, policosanols, and minerals (Chand et al., 2011;Jaffé, 2015;Weerawatanakorn et al., 2016;García et al., 2017). NCS is also known for its various biological functions including anti-cariogenic, anti-toxicity, anti-carcinogenic effects, anti-oxidation, cyto-protection, skin damage protection and immunity improvement (Payet et al., 2005;Jaffé, 2012;Asikin et al., 2013Asikin et al., , 2014Asikin et al., , 2016Lee et al., 2018). Thus, NCS is used not only in food and beverage as a sweetener but also in the pharmaceutical industry and health and skin care industry. ...
... En Colombia, al NCS se le denomina "panela", nombre local que también usan en Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala y Panamá, en otros países se le conoce como chancaca (Chile, Perú), raspadura (Bolivia, Brasil, Cuba, Panamá), piloncillo (México), papelón (Venezuela) y jaggery (India) (Asikin et al., 2014;Jaffé, 2012). Colombia es el segundo productor de panela (NCS) en el mundo, después de la India (Gutiérrez-Mosquera et al., 2018) y de acuerdo con las cifras del balance alimentario más reciente publicado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, en Colombia, la panela presenta un consumo promedio per cápita de 24,8 kg año -1 , con aportes de proteínas de 0,68 g día -1 y cerca de 23 kilocalorías persona -1 día -1 , que representan cerca del 8 % del consumo calórico de la población (FAO, 2018). ...
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La producción de caña panelera en Colombia se ve limitada por la disponibilidad de material de siembra y la nutrición de la planta. Los Hongos Formadores de Micorrizas Arbusculares (HFMA) ayudan al intercambio y movilidad de nutrientes al asociarse con la planta, mejorando la producción del cultivo. El objetivo de este estudio fue evaluar la eficacia de dos HFMA en dos variedades de caña de azúcar para panela en la localidad de Suaita, Santander. Se evaluó los tratamientos T1: Acaulospora mellea, T2: Rhizoglomus irregulare, T3: Control 1 (sin inoculación) y T4: Control 2 (100% fertilización) en las variedades CC 93-7711 y CC 93-7510. Estos tratamientos se implementaron en un diseño de bloques al azar con tres repeticiones. Se evaluó la altura de planta, diámetro del tallo, contenido de clorofila, absorción de nutrientes y materia seca en plantas de caña. En la variedad CC93-7711 se presentaron diferencias significativas para la absorción de N, S, Fe, y Mn, con una mejor absorción para T2, y en esta variedad el contenido de clorofila a los 15 meses después de trasplante fue mayor para T1 y T2. En la variedad 93-7510 se presentaron diferencias significativas a los 8 meses después del trasplante, siendo T1 el mejor tratamiento para altura de planta; T2 el mejor tratamiento para clorofila total, y para absorción de Mn a los 15 meses después del trasplante. A los 15 meses después del trasplante, las dos variedades con los tratamientos T1 y T2 fueron mejores que los controles para las variables de altura de planta, diámetro de tallo, clorofila total y materia seca. Se presentó correlación positiva entre la presencia de A. mellea con la absorción de Na, Cu, Mn, S, N y P y la presencia de Rhizoglomus irregulare con Mg, Fe y Ca. Los HFMA pueden sustituir el 50 % de la fertilización sintética, haciéndola más efectiva, con un mayor contenido de materia seca.
... Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), in particular, has attracted considerable attention by researchers worldwide due to the abundance of polyphenolic compounds (e.g., phenolic acids, flavonoids and glycosides) in sugarcane juices and unrefined products derived from its processing (Singh et al., 2015). This rich polyphenolic profile has been correlated to exceptional antioxidant activities, as well as a broad range of therapeutic activities such as analgesic, antithrombotic and antiinflammatory (Jaffé, 2012;Singh et al., 2015). In fact, several of these medicinal benefits have been traditionally observed in widely consumed sugarcane's unrefined products such as noncentrifugal cane sugar (NCS), which can preserve close phytochemical profiles to native sugarcane given their minimal processing (Singh et al., 2015;Velásquez et al., 2019). ...
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Plant-derived products have gained considerable attention as inflammation modulators given the wide variety of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals reported to be present in plants and their limited side effects in vivo during prolonged exposure periods. Non-centrifugal cane sugar (NCS) has been identified as a promising sugarcane-derived product due to its high polyphenolic composition and antioxidant potential, but its incorporations into nutraceuticals and other relevant products of biomedical interest has been limited by the ample composition-wise variability resulting from extreme and loosely controlled processing conditions. Here, we assessed the effect of reducing thermal exposure during NCS processing on the retained polyphenolic profiles, as well as on their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Specifically, we proposed two modified NCS production methods that reduce exposure to unwanted thermal processing conditions by 1) limiting the employed temperatures through vacuum-aided dehydration and 2) by reducing exposure time through refractance window evaporation. By comparing the modified NCS products with traditional NCS, we showed that the proposed process strategies yield enhanced polyphenolic profiles, as evidenced by the results of the Folin-Ciocalteu polyphenol quantification method and the components identification by HPLC coupled to mass spectrometry. Although these compositional differences failed to impact the antioxidant profiles and cytocompatibility of the products, they showed an enhanced anti-inflammatory potential, given their superior modulation capacity of inflammatory cytokine secretion in both systemic and neuroinflammatory scenarios in vitro. Moreover, we showed that both modified NCS products interfere with TLR4 signaling in human monocytes to a significantly greater extent than traditional NCS. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of NCS produced under window refractance evaporation was slightly superior than under vacuum-aided dehydration, demonstrating that reducing exposure time to high temperatures is likely more effective than reducing the operation temperature. Overall, these findings demonstrated that limiting thermal exposure is beneficial for the development of NCS-based natural products with superior anti-inflammatory potential, which can be further exploited in the rational design of more potent nutraceuticals for potentially preventing chronic inflammatory diseases.
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