Palm Blossom Sugar or Coconut Blossom Sugar?

First of all: our main priority is to get you off of one of the dangerous drug of all times, white sugar. Of course we would love to see you try our Kamkav palm blossom sugar. We personally think it is the best choice when it comes to taste. And it has a very low GI. But there are many other good alternatives as well.

We really want to encourage you to do two things:

  1. reduce your intake of sugar, wether it is white sugar or one of the alternatives.
  2. replace your white sugar entirely for one of the natural alternatives.

Now having this said, you can choose from many natural alternatives: Stevia, Monk fruit, Maple syrup, honey, dates; but for this item we will concentrate on two of the most tasty alternatives: coconut blossom sugar and Cambodian palm blossom sugar.

 

The trees

First of all the source of both blossom sugars: the beautiful trees.  They both belong to the big family of palm trees. There are about 2600 species of palm trees. The scientific name of the coconut palm tree is Cocos Nucifera; the Latin name of the Cambodian palm tree is Borassus Flabellifer.

For commercial purposes coconut palm trees are grown in plantations. They start blossoming and bearing fruit after five till six years. Cambodian palm trees are almost never found in plantations (with one small exception in Thailand) because it takes more than 15 years for them to blossom. When it comes to the sap, coconut trees can produce this for more than 20 years, where as the Cambodian palm tree is gifted with the creation of the nectar for a period of 30 till 100 years.

Coconut palm tree plantation

Cambodian palm trees in Kampong Thom, where we also collect the Kamkav Farm blossom sugar.

You must choose: fruit or nectar

In both cases you must choose as a farmer: either you go for the fruits (the coconut or the Cambodian palm fruit) or you cut the blossom daily before it bears fruit in order to collect the nectar.

coconuts

Cambodian palm fruits

 

The Glycemic Index

According to the FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines Coconut sugar has anti-diabetic properties because it does not induce hyperglycemia or high blood sugar thanks to the low glycemic index (GI) of 35 plus/minus 5.

There is still no official research published on Cambodian palm blossom sugar although our own tests with diabetic patients indicate that the GI is probably lower than the GI of coconut sugar. But within the next month or two, we will have an official GI number. We are now approaching the GIRU, the Glycemic Index Research Unit of the Temasek Polytechnic University in Singapore to run an official research on the Cambodian blossom sugar.

 

The taste

When it comes to taste, both blossom sugars are appreciated as the best tasting alternatives of white sugar. In Thailand for instance, also promoted as the “kitchen of the world”, Cambodian palm blossom sugar is preferred above coconut blossom sugar but because palm blossom sugar is very difficult to get in Thailand, you will find much more coconut sugar in all kind of recipes.

 

  1. FAO.org on tapping palm trees 
  2. Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) Philippines
  3. The Nation: Thailand portal. Thailand as kitchen of the world
  4. Kitchen stewardship
  5. Max Falkowitz: spice hunting
  6. the Spruce: Palm Sugar and Coconut Sugar – Darlene Schmidt
  7. GIRU, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore

 

Low GI. How low can you go?

Glycemic Index Research

After finally achieving our GMP certificate (Good Manufacturing Practice) we are focusing now on the Glycemic Index of our Kamkav Palm Blossom Sugar, with the help of the Temasek Polytechnic University in Singapore. Temasek Polytechnic set up the Glycemic Index Research Unit (GIRU), a first in Singapore and the region. This unit is well-equipped to conduct GI testing of foods and meals. Their GI Research Unit has received the accreditation for testing from the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC).

 

Singapore takes a stand against diabetes

As you know or might expect, GI stands for Glycemic Index; a more and more common term in our world with the fast growing army of diabetes patients.

In his yearly National Day Rally speech, the well respected Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore addressed the fight against diabetes as one of the three main topics. Almost 12% of all Singaporeans are suffering from diabetes right now, and the number is rising. The impact is huge. But Singapore is not even among the worst affected countries.

 

WHO

According to the WHO, in 2015 an estimated number of 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. The last official number of patients worldwide is from 2014: 422 million people. We might have reached the 500 million patients by now. Diabetes is an epidemic. Therefore the WHO is pushing governments to take action against the alarming growth of diabetes patients worldwide. Especially white sugar is seen as the number one enemy in this. And rightfully so, because white sugar has a high GI of 69.

 

What is a low and what is a high GI?

But what does it mean: GI, Glycemic Index? Glycemic Index measures the effect of your carbohydrate food on your blood sugar level. If your intake of a certain food raises your blood sugar (glucose) a little bit, then we talk about low GI food. In this case the carbohydrates in your food are far more slowly absorbed. Normally this goes for food with a GI of 55 or less. High GI food has a GI of 70 or more, where the carbohydrates are digested very quickly with as a result that your blood glucose rises dramatically. Diabetes patients especially should avoid these kind of carbohydrates.

 

Kamkav Blossom Sugar lower than 35?

Back to the blossom sugar. We did some self tests with friends who are diabetes patient. They noticed that the Kamkav Farm blossom sugar has a very low effect on their blood sugar levels but we still can’t give it an exact number. That’s why we called in the help of the GIRU, the GI Research Unit of the Temasek Polytechnic University. There has only been a research about the GI of another blossom sugar, the coconut sugar, but this research from 2007 is not seen as an independent research. However it can be a good indication for the Kamkav palm blossom sugar. According to this Philippine research coconut sugar should have a GI of 35. Now we are very curious about the outcome of the GIRU results. We expect it in the next two months, and we expect an even lower GI than 35 but maybe we are too optimistic. Who knows?

 

 

 

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