Conference Paper

The Unconventional Value Addition of Jaggery

  • U.P. Council of Sugarcane Research
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Jaggery, a natural sweetener made from sugarcane juice is the closest alternative to sugar. It is sometimes referred to as "country sugar". Jaggery is predominantly made in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The chemical composition of jaggery mainly consists of 50% sucrose, around 20% invert sugars and approximately 20% moisture with wood ash, proteins and bagasse fibers. The quality of jaggery is determined by the color and texture. Conventionally jaggery is used as a sweetner,however it is also considered to be a balanced energy food as jaggery is a more complex form of carbohydrate than plain sugar, it is digested and absorbed gradually and releases energy over an extended period of time. This can provide the eater with warmth and energy for a more extended period without harming their internal organs. Generally it is also used for its ability to cleanse our body, act as a digestive agent, sweeten our food in a healthy manner, and provide good amounts of minerals.

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Jaggery is the commodity of mass consumption especially for the poor population of rural areas, which is produced in addition to sugar from sugarcane juice. It plays a great role in rural economy of India. However, till date, the jaggery producers are dependent on the sugarcane varieties which are released for the area. There is no specifically designed breeding programme for development of varieties, suitable for jaggery production. The major factor that governs the consumer preference and marketing of jaggery is its external appearance, i.e. colour, texture and storability which in turn depend on variety of sugarcane having high sucrose content, purity and low colloids. A study was carried out at UPCSR, Shahjahanpur, in 2015–16 and 2016–17 to identify the sugarcane varieties most suitable for quality jaggery production. Ten varieties, viz. five early (Co 0238 Co 0118 UP 05125 CoS 08272 CoSe 03234) and five mid-late maturing (CoS 08276 CoSe 01434 CoS 07250 CoS 08279 CoS 767), were selected. The highest jaggery yield (12.46 t/ha) and maximum jaggery percent in cane (12.71) was recorded for variety Co 0238. The variety with maximum cane yield (100.61 t/ha) was found to be CoS 08279; however, the maximum jaggery percent in juice was in the variety Co 0118, which was 21.87%. The minimum invert sugar percent and the colour were recorded for variety CoS 08272 (3.22) and CoS 08276 (105), respectively. All the ten varieties were also estimated for mineral contents by digestion method. The varieties Co 0118, CoS 08272, Co 0238 CoS 08276 and CoSe 03234 recorded higher cane yield, jaggery yield and mineral content (Fe, Zn, Mg and Mn) in jaggery with good colour and therefore would be useful for cultivation by sugarcane growers for high yield of cane jaggery production coupled with good quality.
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