Jaggery or gur is a sweetener, technically called Non-centrifugal cane sugar (NCS) which is a sugar product made from sugar canes scientifically known as ‘Saccharum officinarum’, belonging to the grass family ‘Poaceae’.
Jaggery is mainly processed from sugar canes. However, palm sap also is used to make jaggery which is comparatively sweeter, but less popular and commercially consumed than the one made from sugar canes. It is available in different varieties that depend on the juices or saps extracted respectively from sugar cane, date palm, palmyra palm and coconut tree, from which it is made. And these varieties are available in liquid, granular and hard forms.
The sweetener is supposed to have originated thousands of years ago in India, where the same is an unavoidable ingredient for sweetening purposes in cooking today. Jaggery is used mainly to prepare certain snacks, sweets, or kheers-known as payasam in South India.
Jaggery is processed through certain methods by heating and evaporating the water contents from different juices or saps that are used to make the same. Normally the quality of it is identified by its colour. And brown colour jaggery is considered the purest quality.
Jaggery contains sucrose, fructose, glucose, fat, protein, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium. It is purported to prevent constipation, purify the blood, detoxify the liver, relieve joint pain, help lose weight and boost immunity and intestinal health.
The largest producer of jaggery in the world is India which contributes nearly 55% to jaggery’s global production. The other main producers are Brazil, Thailand, Australia, Germany and Mexico. The largest exporter is Brazil, followed by the US, Thailand, France, Germany, China and Australia, while the main importers are China, UAE, Nepal, Kenya, Sudan and Nigeria.
In India, the largest producer of jaggery is Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarnagar located in the same is the biggest jaggery market in India. Other main producers are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Bihar.
Some of the major trading markets of jaggery in India:
Uttar Pradesh (Muzaffarnagar, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Ambedkarnagar)
Tamil Nadu (Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Madurai, Vellore)
Maharashtra (Pune, Upla, Kolhapur, Baramati)
Names of jaggery in different Indian languages:
*Take necessary precautions while giving money or product in advance.