What is “Sulphured” Molasses?

So then, having given you the long answer about how molasses is made, I can now give you the short answer on what “sulphured” molasses is. If you remember last week’s posts on “sulphured” fruit, you’ll recall that sulfur dioxide gas is sometimes employed in the drying and/or candying process to shut down (actually bond with) naturally occurring enzymes to prevent them from bonding with phenols and forming pigments. The same logic is at work in the sugar making process. If the end product is to be refined table sugar, sulfur dioxide is sometimes bubbled through the cane syrup before crystallization to help it stay white. The sulfur dioxide also serves to re-balance the pH of the syrup after the initial purification (which as I mentioned involves lime, a strong alkaline). It furthermore acts as a sanitizer, since sulfur dioxide is lethal to molds and bacteria. Of course just as with candied fruit, “sulphuring” can leave a chemical taste behind, which is why it’s nearly impossible to find “sulphured” molasses in grocery stores today, even if you wanted to.

6 thoughts on “What is “Sulphured” Molasses?”

  1. I have a Ginger Snap recipe that calls for Sulphured Molasses and I am unable to find it anywhere! There is plenty of the Unsulphured on the shelves. Would it be okay to make the cookies with the Unsulphured ? I made them years ago and had no trouble finding the Sulphured! Please advise.

    1. What with all the hubbub about “sulphuring” these days it’s almost impossible to find. It has a milder flavor than the unsulphured, but nothing you’ll notice in the finished cookie. Use what you can find and you’ll be just fine!

      – Joe

  2. When we were young, I remember, come fall our parents giving us 1 teaspoon of Black Strap Molasses every day, but for some reason I remember the word sulphur. Would anyone know of this procedure? My parents are not here to ask any more. Thanks Roxanne

    1. Hi Roxanne!

      Are you asking why they would give you a dose of molasses every day? If so, I think it’s because of vitamins. Blackstrap molasses has more nutrients in it than lighter versions, and has been considered “good for you” for over 200 years. Does that help?

      – Joe

  3. Hi, I have a rabbit formula recipe that calls for sulphured molasses, you you think that it would be ok to use unsulfured??

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