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What is the difference between molasses and black treacle?

29/09/2022 By Ibrahim Belo in Products Black treacle, Cane molasses, Treacles

Molasses and black treacle are two of the leading sugar syrups we manufacture in bulk for industry. Although often mistaken as being the same, both have unique production functions, enhancing product tastes, textures and colours. As a result, both are essential ingredients in a wide range of food and beverage applications. 

What is molasses? 

Cane molasses is a syrup with a rich aroma and distinct bittersweet and smoky flavour, easily identified by its dark coloured appearance and viscosity. It is the by-product of the cane sugar refining process, retaining much of the original vitamins and nutrient content of the sugarcane plant. This means it is highly nutritious, and a source of vitamin B6, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.  

Raw cane molasses next to cut sugar cane

Molasses has a deep, dark almost black colour.

Due to its distinctive flavour, molasses has many industrial food and beverage applications. The dark colour and viscosity, alongside the bitter-sweet flavour contrast makes it ideal for sauces and marinades. In particular, barbeque sauces and Worcestershire sauce benefit from the syrup’s distinctive production features. Beer styles such as stouts and porters may also include molasses, alongside caramel, for colour and flavour.    

Is black treacle the same as molasses? 

The answer? They’re entirely unique and serve very distinct purposes in food and beverage production. The black treacle manufactured by Ragus is a mixture of refiner’s syrup and molasses, resulting in a flavour that is like molasses but presents a smoother, softer and rounder taste. The molasses gives treacle its dark colour, distinct from other syrups, such as golden syrup.    

Molasses is perfect for sauces, marinades and some beers and stouts.

Black treacle is widely used as a liquid sweetener, natural colourant and flavouring for sauces, baked products, confectionery and desserts. For food applications, hams glazed with treacle provide a perfect example of the sweet and sticky contrast to savoury goods for which the syrup is so well known. Industrial recipes for Christmas puddings, treacle tarts, fruit cakes, parkin and gingerbread all feature black treacle, as well as confectionery like liquorice and treacle toffee. 

Treacle vs molasses: key differences  

The production process is a key difference between treacle and molasses. Another major difference is the ingredients – black treacle includes refiners syrup.  

Both have a deep, aromatic flavour that adds a unique finish to food and drink recipes, but they are subtly different, with treacle tending to be a sweeter product that has less of a bitter profile than molasses. Compared to treacle, molasses is thicker in consistency and darker in colour.   

Treacle tart and liquorice are traditionally made with black treacle.

It is possible to substitute treacle for molasses in some industrial applications, such as sauces, marinades, beers and porters but on the whole, the addition of refiners syrup to molasses changes properties such as viscosity, colour, flavours and texture.    

Where to buy molasses and black treacle  

Industrial customers can buy treacle and molasses in bulk from Ragus, delivered in 1,000kg IBCs and 25,000kg road tankers. Both products are widely available for artisan producers and consumers via distributors and retailers.   

We supply bulk black treacle and molasses to our partners in the food and beverage industry.

Molasses and black treacle should be stored in tanks or in cool dry locations (IBCs) with a temperature range of 15-20 degrees, giving a shelf life of up to 18 months.   

Ragus manufactures both molasses and black treacle in bulk for industrial users. To find out how we can help you select pure sugar products that meet your application’s needs, please contact our Customer Services Team. To see more sugar news and updates, continue browsing SUGARTALK and follow Ragus on LinkedIn. 

Ibrahim Belo

With a primary responsibility for manufactured product quality control, Ibrahim works within our supplier chain, factory and production laboratory. He has a focus on continuous improvement, implementing and maintaining our technical and quality monitoring processes, ensuring standards and product specifications are met.

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