Your contact person

+49 40 32003 369
Print page


Molasses is a by-product obtained from the production of table sugar. Black, syrupy molasses is a replacement for sugar and is used in industry and agriculture.

Molasses: what is it?

Molasses is a black, viscous syrup that has a bitter-sweet, liquorice flavour. It is obtained as a by-product from the production of cane sugar and beet sugar. The term “molasses” originates from the Latin “mellacium” as well as the French and Greek words for honey, “miel” and “meli” respectively. Traditionally, molasses is used as feed in agriculture and as a raw material in the biotechnology sector. Molasses is also becoming increasingly popular as a replacement for sugar, honey as well as maple and agave syrup. It is suitable for baking and sweetening – or as a spread. Due to its wide range of valuable ingredients, black molasses is also thought to have health benefits.

At August Töpfer & Co., you can buy molasses made from sugarcane or sugarbeet for use in the food industry or for your individual needs. If you wish to use the molasses as food, we will prepare the product according to internal and external standards and adjust its qualities to your specific requirements. Our team will be happy to assist you with any questions you might have about our product range and possible applications.


© undefined undefined/

Sugarcane molasses

Sugarcane is a type of sweet grass primarily cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries. The plant stores in its stems a liquid containing a high amount of sucrose, which has been used to obtain common cane sugar since the 5th century BC. More than two thirds of sugar produced worldwide comes from sugarcane sap. Also known as “blackstrap molasses”, sugarcane molasses is considered a high-quality replacement for sugar with reduced calorific content and positive health attributes. Since it is not possible to extract all of the sugar contained in the plant sap, black molasses has a sugar content of around 45 to 65 percent. At August Töpfer & Co., you can find organic sugarcane molasses certified according to EU Eco-Regulation 834/2007 and quality assurance standards. Our molasses is also available with Naturland, Bio Suisse, NOP and Kosher certification.

© mescioglu/

Sugarbeet molasses

Unlike sugarcane, sugarbeet predominantly grows in temperate climatic zones. It is typically cultivated in regions such as Europe and North America. The field crop is usually harvested between September and December and then processed into beet sugar and molasses in production facilities. Sugarbeet molasses has a sugar content of around 42 to 47 percent. In contrast to sugarcane molasses, however, it is not generally used as a food product. It is primarily used in intensive livestock farming, fermentation processes and the production of biogas and bioethanol. Molasses is frequently confused with sugarbeet syrup, although the production processes of the two products differ considerably: Sugar beet syrup is the result of boiling down sugarbeet, while molasses was originally a waste product. The viscous liquid has an intense taste and provides the basis for producing bioethanol, among other products.

Production of molasses

While sugarcane is pressed to extract the sap, sugarbeet is first cut into shreds. The sugar sap is then obtained from the beet via a diffusion process. The next production steps are identical for sugarbeet and sugarcane: what is known as “thin juice” is cleaned by adding lime and carbon dioxide in order to separate the sugar from the other components. An evaporation process is repeated to produce the concentrated “thick juice”, which is then boiled down.

Adding sugar crystals allows the liquid to crystalise faster. A centrifuge is used in a final stage to remove the solid sugar from the syrup – the molasses. This process is also called refining and is repeated up to three times. The resulting molasses initially has a light colour and sweet taste, but attains a darker, more bitter quality as it is cooked and spun in the further course of the process. When crystallisation no longer occurs, the process is completed. Ten tonnes of sugarcane produces around 0.3 tonnes of black molasses, or 0.5 tonnes for ten tonnes of sugar beet.

Contents of molasses

Molasses primarily comprises water, sucrose and a small amount of glucose and fructose. The sugar content of molasses is around 50 percent on average. Black molasses also contains a range of valuable components such as trace elements, minerals and secondary plant substances, including:





Pantothenic acid

The type and amounts of the components can vary significantly depending on the product and production process. Molasses is considered to be very healthy due to the nutrients it contains – especially the iron. Back in the 18th century, black molasses could only be bought in apothecaries. While its health benefits are not scientifically proven, molasses is still often consumed as a nutritional supplement.

Use of molasses

© 123ducu/

Molasses is often used as feed in fattening farms. Molasses chips are also traditionally used to strengthen horses. The food industry and biotechnology sector likewise purchase molasses as a raw material for a range of processes. For instance, sugar molasses serves as the basis for the production of rum, vodka and whisky, as well as yeast, flavour enhancers, critic acid and as a nutrient for enzymes and microorganisms in pharmaceutical applications.

Molasses is also highly versatile as a food product. Due to its reduced sugar content and the lower amount of calories, molasses is a healthy alternative to all kinds of sweeteners. Moreover, the valuable ingredients can help cover daily nutritional requirements. In syrup form or as a component of yeast flakes, aromatic molasses is used in the preparation of sweet and savoury pastries as well as in sauces and meat glazes. However, people with diabetes should not consume sugar molasses.

Our molasses are certified:

Molasses from August Töpfer & Co.

Our sugarcane and sugarbeet molasses gives food a characteristic, bitter-sweet flavour depending on the amount used. Thanks to the dark-brown to black colour, our molasses also work as a natural colouring for your products – all without the addition of undesired E-numbers. Where more delicate flavours are required, we can also offer you molasses with a higher sugar content or a different sugar composition. Get in touch with us! Our team will be happy to answer your questions and work with you to put together the products you need. Our sugarcane molasses is also available in certified organic quality.