Answer: "Blackstrap Molasses" is nothing but Paaku Vellam that is in semi-solid or thick liquid state. Not all the sugar cane crushing units sell the third boiled extracts as they normally make the other steps to make Jaggery and Sugar or sugar crystals.
From the ripe Sugar Cane the juice is extracted by crushing or mashing; then it is boiled with certain degree of heating and processed to extract the sugar. The results of the first boiling and processing is first molasses – this has the highest sugar content. The outcome of the second boiling is second molasses. Second molasses is darker in colour and has a slightly bitter in taste. Blackstrap molasses is from the third boiling. In Tamil they call as Pagu Vellam that is almost filled in mud-pots and it is in semi-solid state. There is no usage of any chemicals or sulphers in this stage. If from the unripe and tender sugcanes they extract the juice, then it is added with sulpher etc. to bring the concentrate clarified. It has the shelf value for a limited period only as otherwise it will smell a type of alcohal or spirit!
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