This list of unrefined sweeteners includes all natural, unrefined, or low-processed sweeteners.
Sweeteners are usually made from the fruit or sap of plants, but can also be made from any other part of the plant, or all of it. Some sweeteners are made from starch, with the use of enzymes. Sweeteners made by animals, especially insects, are put in their own section as they can come from more than one part of plants.
The sap of some species is concentrated to make sweeteners, usually through drying or boiling.
- Cane juice, syrup, molasses, and raw sugar, which has many regional and commercial names including demerara, jaggery, muscovado, panela, piloncillo, turbinado sugar, and Sucanat, are all made from sugarcane (Saccharum spp.).
- Sweet sorghum syrup is made from the sugary juice extracted from the stalks of Sorghum spp., especially S. bicolor.
- Mexican or maize sugar can be made by boiling down the juice of green maize stalks.
- Agave nectar is made from the sap of Agave spp., including tequila agave (Agave tequilana).
- Birch syrup is made from the sap of birch trees (Betula spp.).
- Maple syrup, taffy and sugar are made from the sap of tapped maple trees (Acer spp.).
- Palm sugar is made by tapping the flower stalk of various Palm trees to collect the sap. The most important species for this is the Indian date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), but other species used include palmyra (Borassus flabelliformis), coconut (Cocos nucifera), toddy (Caryota urens), gomuti (Arenga saccharifera), and nipa (Nypa fruticans) palms.
- The sweet resin of the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) was considered by John Muir to be better than maple sugar.
- A sugary extract from manna ash that contains the sugar mannose and the sugar alcohol mannitol.
The juice extracted from the tuberous roots of certain plants is, much like sap, concentrated to make sweeteners, usually through drying or boiling.
The starchy seeds of certain plants are transformed into sweeteners by using the enzymes formed during germination or from bacterian cultures. Some sweeteners made with starch are quite refined and made by degrading purified starch with enzymes, such as corn syrup.
Many fresh fruits, dried fruits and fruit juices are used as sweeteners. Some examples are:
- Watermelon sugar, made by boiling the juice of ripe watermelons.
- Pumpkin sugar, made by grating the pumpkins, in the same manner as to make beet sugar.
- Dates, date paste, spread, syrup ("dibs"), or powder (date sugar) are made from the fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).
- Jallab is made by combining dates, grape molasses and rose water.
- Pekmez is made of grapes, fig (Ficus carica) and mulberry (Morus spp.) juices, condensed by boiling with coagulant agents.
A variety of molasses are made with fruit:
Dried and powdered Stevia
In a few species of plants the leaves are sweet and can be used as sweeteners.
- Stevia spp. can be used whole, or dried and powdered to sweeten food or drink. Uniquely, stevia contains no carbohydrates or calories.
- Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), has sweet leaves, although not as sweet as Stevia.
- Hydrangea macrophylla Has sweet leaves that are used to make a sweet tea called amacha