The sweetener referred to as “Evaporated Cane Juice” on food packages is simply refined sugar, the FDA recently ruled.
If you read the ingredient list before buying packaged foods and beverages, then there’s no doubt you’ve seen “evaporated cane juice,” listed. But not anymore. The FDA has ruled that calling sugarcane “dehydrated” or “evaporated” cane juice is misleading because many shoppers believed that it was somehow “juice,” similar to apple or pear juice.
According to the agency, the use of “juice” in the name of a product is associated with liquids extracted from fruits or vegetables, but not sugarcane or sugar beets. Because of this, many health-conscious shoppers mistakenly believed that the sweetener was not sugar, but something more healthful.
The FDA’s guidelines state that manufacturers need to call evaporated cane juice what it is: sugar. While food manufacturers pleaded their case to the government, the FDA contends that “evaporated cane juice” contains between 99.0 and 99.8% regular table sugar.
Food manufacturers use more than 45 different sweeteners in food and beverages and more than 75 percent of processed foods in supermarkets have added sugars. There are those that are obvious, like sodas and sweets, but added sugars are in frozen dinners, bread, tomato products, condiments, vitamins and many other places where you’d least expect to have added sugars.
For more ways to identify added sugars on food packages, use this guide to all the commonly used names for sugar that food companies use.