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Everything you wanted to know about powdered sugar


blittle6
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Hi Every1,

I went to Sam's club today, and they were completely sold out of Powdered Sugar. The lady said it would be in short supply because it comes from Louisiana!! I live in North Texas by the way. My Hubby went by Costco on the way home and they too were sold out. I hit the local grocery stores and there was none!!!! Has any1 else ran into this????

Berta

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Just found this:

SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) -- Imperial Sugar Co. on Friday said it has resumed operations at its Gramercy, La. cane sugar refinery after closing shop on Saturday to brace for Hurricane Katrina.

Imperial said it is moving out limited shipments from the refinery, located about 20 miles northwest of New Orleans, and will resume normal shipping depending on the availability of transportation equipment and fuel.

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If there's a shortage, it's probably fairly localized, depending on what manufacturers distribute to what suppliers.

Most of my sugars originate from plants in Idaho and Utah. I probably won't feel a powdered sugar pinch.....

but I think it will affect coffee a lot, since Louisiana was one of the biggest coffee import ports in the US.

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  • 2 months later...

There's an article about the sugar shortage resulting from Katrina here from CBS' website.

The bigger problem lies in the crippled sugar refining industry. The nation's largest sugar cane refinery, Domino Sugar, is in the heart of St. Bernard Parish, La., an area devastated by hurricane Katrina. Flooding ruined 23 million pounds of raw sugar.

With the refinery still closed, unprocessed sugar is stacking up, waiting to be processed.

The shortage has yet to hit supermarket shelves, and industry experts say there's no reason to sound the alarm just yet.

Free video here. Scroll down and click on "Sugar Paranoia".

edited to add video link

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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  • 4 months later...

My guess - because it contains cornstarch which is also cool to the touch.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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My guess - because it contains cornstarch which is also cool to the touch.

Okay.

Why is cornstarch cool to the touch? :huh:

SB (out of donuts) :wink:

Now you're pushing it! :laugh: Let's wait for the scientists to debate this one.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My guess - because it contains cornstarch which is also cool to the touch.

Okay.

Why is cornstarch cool to the touch? :huh:

SB (out of donuts) :wink:

Now you're pushing it! :laugh: Let's wait for the scientists to debate this one.

If we don't hear from them by tomorrow morning I'll just have to buy some more donuts for experimental purposes!

SB :wink:

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depends on what kind of powdered sugar you're talking about.

typically, the "powdered sugar" they use on commercially made donuts and pastries is a particular product called "snow white topping" or something to that affect. it also contains starch (wheat, not corn like regular powdered sugar) and is used because it doesn't dissolve when moist, humid, warm, etc. like regular powdered sugar does.

all of that, and i still don't know why it is "cool"...but just wanted to clarify that there is another product out there...

chemists?!

anyone?!

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depends on what kind of powdered sugar you're talking about.

typically, the "powdered sugar" they use on commercially made donuts and pastries is a particular product called "snow white topping" or something to that affect.  it also contains starch (wheat, not corn like regular powdered sugar) and is used because it doesn't dissolve when moist, humid, warm, etc. like regular powdered sugar does.

all of that, and i still don't know why it is "cool"...but just wanted to clarify that there is another product out there...

chemists?!

anyone?!

Not chemists...Actually, the term around here is SSB's: Smug Scientific Bastards

I know there are some who roam the halls of eGullet. Perhaps they'll drop by...

And whatever did happen to the suggestion of an eGullet Food Science forum? :wink:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Why does powdered sugar feel "cool" on the tongue?  :huh:

SB (eating donuts) :smile:

Here's one hypothesis: powdered sugar, being a uniform mixture that quickly liquifies on the tongue, absorbs latent heat from the tongue, causing the perception of coolness. One definition of latent heat is "the heat released or absorbed by a substance during a phase change," for instance the change from a gas to a liquid, or, presumably, from a solid to a liquid. Here's an explanation from an article describing this phenomenon with cocoa butter:

Here's a sweet way to experience the latent heat of fusion of something else that melts -- namely, chocolate. Seventy percent of chocolate candy is a solid fat, called cocoa butter. One of the most important properties of cocoa butter is the temperature at which it melts. It has a sharp melting point; that means that it changes from a solid to a liquid very quickly. Since its melting point of 70°F is lower than the temperature of the human body, chocolate melts in your mouth. Put a Hershey Kiss on your tongue and hold it in your mouth as it melts. Resist the temptation to chew. It may get stuck to the roof of your mouth. Rub your tongue back and forth on the melting candy. Notice the cool feeling on your tongue and roof of your mouth. The melting chocolate is using heat from your body to melt and, as a result, your skin feels cooler. Since the difference in temperature between the melting point of chocolate and your body's temperature is not very large (22.6 degrees), you don't notice the cooling effect of the candy unless you pay attention.

Obviously the statement that 70% of chocolate is cocoa butter applies only to some milk chocolates, not chocolate in general.

Linkage

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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you know, i never thought about it, but yeah, when you eats the powdered donuts they are kind of "cool". huh. and i read patricks explanation. gave it a thought for a good solid minute and ill buy it!

coolness! through and through

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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Here's one hypothesis: powdered sugar, being a uniform mixture that quickly liquifies on the tongue, absorbs latent heat from the tongue, causing the perception of coolness. One definition of latent heat is "the heat released or absorbed by a substance during a phase change," for instance the change from a gas to a liquid, or, presumably, from a solid to a liquid. Here's an explanation from an article describing this phenomenon with cocoa butter:

This was my impression, as well. It makes logical sense.

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In the name of "Science", I stopped by my local bakery and picked up another half dozen powdered sugar donuts this morning. I posed my question about the perceived "coolness" of powdered sugar to the women who work there.

I mentioned the theory of corn/wheat starch, added to the sugar to prevent clumping (?), drawing out moisture. One of the women told me how they used to use corn starch on babies with diaper rash for just that reason.

So, it would appear that our theory of starch drawing out moisture, combined with the hypothesis of "sugar, being a uniform mixture that quickly liquifies on the tongue, absorbs latent heat from the tongue, causing the perception of coolness", could be correct?

My background is in engineering, autos, law and crime rather than science, but I seem to recall how the Second Law of Thermodynamics posits that unless we find a way to create new matter, everything will keep getting colder all the time? Thus, eating powdered sugar donuts could ultimately contribute to the end of the Universe, but what the hell?

S "Science" B :wacko:

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The type of sugar that is non-melting has a lot of dextrose in it, which feels cool on the tongue. I don't know the scientific explanation why dextrose feels cool in your mouth, but it does.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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In the name of "Science", I stopped by my local bakery and picked up another half dozen powdered sugar donuts this morning.  I posed my question about the perceived "coolness" of powdered sugar to the women who work there.

I mentioned the theory of corn/wheat starch, added to the sugar to prevent clumping (?), drawing out moisture.  One of the women told me how they used to use corn starch on babies with diaper rash for just that reason.

So, it would appear that our theory of starch drawing out moisture, combined with the hypothesis of "sugar, being a uniform mixture that quickly liquifies on the tongue, absorbs latent heat from the tongue, causing the perception of coolness", could be correct?

My background is in engineering, autos, law and crime rather than science, but I seem to recall how the Second Law of Thermodynamics posits that unless we find a way to create new matter, everything will keep getting colder all the time?  Thus, eating powdered sugar donuts could ultimately contribute to the end of the Universe, but what the hell?

S "Science" B :wacko:

Or should we be looking at it as a potential counter balance to global warming? If we all ate more donuts could we repair the holes in the ozone layer?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My background is in engineering, autos, law and crime rather than science, but I seem to recall how the Second Law of Thermodynamics posits that unless we find a way to create new matter, everything will keep getting colder all the time?  Thus, eating powdered sugar donuts could ultimately contribute to the end of the Universe, but what the hell?

I'm reminded of the South Park episode where Butters tries to flood the world using a garden hose.

I for one applaud your willingness to take an active role in the evolution of the cosmos. Now, the average temperature of the universe is only 3K, which is 3 degrees celcius above absolute zero, which is -454 degrees F. So clearly, it would not take too many doughnuts to do the job, you diabolical genius. :wink:

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Or should we be looking at it as a potential counter balance to global warming?  If we all ate more donuts could we repair the holes in the ozone layer?

I don't think so.

A cursory examination of my three remaining donuts reveals that the powdered sugar has already created quite sizable holes in the middle of them! :shock:

SB :sad:

edited to change "four remaining donuts" to three. Ozone be damned! :cool:

Edited by srhcb (log)
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I for one applaud your willingness to take an active role in the evolution of the cosmos. Now, the average temperature of the universe is only 3K, which is 3 degrees celcius above absolute zero, which is -454 degrees F. So clearly, it would not take too many doughnuts to do the job, you diabolical genius.  :wink:

The average temperature here in Nothern Minnesota is around 39 degrees, (277K), so while powdered sugar donuts are quite popular, (even though they have the inherent disadvantage if being easily lost in the snow), I don't think we have to worry quite yet? :huh:

SB (saving three donuts for lunch) :raz:

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