Organic Jaggery- Making your sweet treats healthier

In India, Jaggery or Gur has been used since centuries.  Known as ‘sharkara’ in Sanskrit, its name was synonymous to ‘sweetener’, as once it was the only known sweetener to the people in the subcontinent. The mentions of gur/guda has been found in ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrudayam dating back to 1st Century and before.

Used for its medicinal and sweetening properties, Jaggery is still a major ingredient in most of the traditional Indian sweet dishes. Its general use as a sweetener in India was somehow lessened after the introduction and large scale processing of refined/white sugar, introduced by various European colonisers at around the late 19th century.

At present, India is the largest producer and consumer of Jaggery and its products. Out of total World Production, more than 70% of Jaggery is produced in India.

When seen as a whole industry, the Jaggery Manufacturing Industry is still facing a lack in the standardization process, quality control and transparency, due to various reasons, ignorance being the primary one. The haphazardous use of chemicals, without proper regulations in the conventional manufacturing units has led to the degradation of the traditional product – the authentic Jaggery.

However, Just Organik Organic Jaggery Products are processed and packed as per NPOP, NOP and EU Organic standards in a FSSAI and BRC licensed unit, which not only maintain the original, traditional jaggery’s quality but also guarantee standardization and hygiene during the whole preparation process.

How Just Organik Jaggery Products are Prepared?

Just Organik Jaggery Products are prepared from Organic Sugarcane Juice, sugarcane being grown at the foothills of Himalayas (Indian state – Uttarakhand) in the fields nourished by the water of the Ganges. A very strict organic certification regime ensures the purity at the sugarcane level itself.

Before extracting the juice in the crushing machine (kolhu), the sugarcanes are washed to remove the external dust from them. A vertical crusher ensures that any possibility of the machining impurities is ruled out. Extracted Juice is then carried in stainless steel pipes and passed through multiple sieves before boiling in the pans, to filter-out the impurities of different particle size. This also ensure less impurities to be extracted during the boiling/heating process. The filtered Juice is then put in a series of stainless steel pans, warranting hygiene throughout the process of making concentrated juice. The natural clarifying agent ‘Okra’ is added in the juice in the middle of the boiling process. Regular removal/skimming of the produced scum is performed using sieves in various stages in different boiling pans. The Product is transferred to different pans for boiling in batches.

Once reaching the best consistency/ moisture level, standardised for the final product, Solid Jaggery or Jaggery Powder is prepared.

The whole semi-solidified part is poured in flat stainless steel plates and cooled down to prepare Solid Jaggery. For Jaggery Powder, the moisture content is further reduced to a specific amount after which it is sieved to obtain the soft Jaggery Powder.

Jaggery is considered a healthier option compared to refined sugar because a generous amount of phytochemicals and minerals remain intact in Jaggery. Prepared without using any chemicals, it is safe to consume jaggery products regularly in normal quantities.

Just Organik Jaggery : A Powerhouse of Health Benefits

In Ayurveda, Jaggery is said to have anti-allergic properties, it improves digestion and immunity, cleanses lungs and the bladder, purifies blood, and is an excellent energy source. It is considered a powerhouse of many nutrients. Just Organik Jaggery contains a lot of these nutrients including iron (11mg/100g, 30% of RDI), calcium (8%), potassium, magnesium and antioxidants, which helps to boost the immune system and supports the body to fight against several diseases.

Numerous health professionals recommend replacing sugar with Jaggery to obtain nutritional value from a sweetener. The total calories in Jaggery and sugar is almost the same but the nutritional elements like iron, potassium and magnesium, present in jaggery products are reasonably beneficial than the empty calories provided by refined sugar.

Besides, Jaggery comprises of complex carbohydrates, the longer chains of sucrose which takes relatively longer time for the complete breakdown, hence releasing  energy slowly, when compared to refined sugar.  However, it has to be noted that jaggery is a good replacement for sugar among non-diabetics.

In traditional medicine, Jaggery is considered to have warm potency, hence helpful to produce warmth in the body during winters, which is considered a Kapha dominant season. Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana explains that regular consumption of Jaggery decreases Kapha dosha and serves as a diuretic.

It is also known to be an excellent healer for people with respiratory issues including asthma, allergy and bronchitis among others. According to Nutritionist and Macrobiotic Health Coach, Shilpa Arora, “Jaggery is exceptional for breathing disorders. Its anti-allergic properties detox and relax the respiratory muscles”. The presence of Magnesium in Jaggery strengthens and relaxes the bronchial muscles which further help regularize breathing in asthmatics. Jaggery also helps to dilate blood vessels by producing warmth and cleanse the respiratory tract.

Just Organik Jaggery is rich in Iron. Iron helps improve the blood Haemoglobin levels and improves blood circulation. It is essential for the formation of healthy blood and muscle cells. Several Studies have concluded that Jaggery or combination of jaggery with raisins/sesame seeds/ghee proved to be a better natural food supplement to overcome Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) than others.

However, it is very important that all these health benefits can be intact only if jaggery is consumed in its purest, unadulterated form. Without any involvement of any chemical or unnatural aid at any point of time, prepared in a standardised and certified environment, Just Organik Jaggery products therefore are the best choice for organic, unadulterated Jaggery. All the products are packed in a BRC certified unit ensuring that the globally highest standards of production and packaging are met to prepare the final Product.

Just Organik Jaggery Products are available in 3 forms.

Jaggery  – Available only during the winters, Just Organik Jaggery is one of the seasonal favourites, which goes out of stock as soon as it arrives in the shelves. Available in blocks, it is obtained by cutting cubical pieces of solidified, cooled Jaggery with a considerable amount of moisture. Usually consumed as a sweet snack or an after-meal sweetener.

 Jaggery Powder –.With less moisture content and relatively high shelf life, it is characterized by very soft texture and color varying from yellowish to dark brown. Used in Several traditional Dishes like Modak, sandesh, patishapda, etc. . It can be used in summer or winter drinks, with milk, in teas, desserts, shakes, etc.

Jaggery Pearls –  The perfect ‘sweet snacks’, rich in taste, convenient to handle and easy to store. Munch them as a sweet snack or use as a post-meal sweetener, Just Organik Jaggery pearls will be delightful every time.

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