There are a lot of hidden truths to palm sugar which I discovered only after using it.
Palm sugar could be either crystalised or palm jaggery powdered. Be careful what you ask for off the counter.
Palm sugar (panam kalkandu) is a crystalised form of palm candy- the most processed output. And to crystalise it I am yet to find out if there can be a chemical free process.
Palm jaggery powder is the most dehydrated version of palm jaggery – pana vellam. The first stage is the block jaggery, the second is the jaggery powder which is dark brown (the same block made into powder), the third stage is the fine powder – this will be light brown in colour. It doesnt remail free flowing if kept for a long time, it will become hard and stick to the walls of your bottle. In each stage it is more and more dehydrated.
However, OFM selles this jaggery in all three stages and confirms that all these can be made naturally without chemical treatment. However, for the kalkandu they are yet to find a process of manufacturing which isnt compromised with chemical treatment.