Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are only present in sufficient concentrations for efficient extraction in sugarcane and sugar beet.
Sugarcane is a giant grass cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions for the sucrose that is found in its stems. It requires a frost-free climate with sufficient rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant’s great growth potential.
Sugar beet is a root crop, is cultivated in cooler climates with adequate rainfall and requires a fertile soil.
Cane sugar requires further processing to provide the free-flowing white table sugar required by the consumer. The first stage is known as affination and involves immersing the sugar crystals in a concentrated syrup which softens and removes the sticky brown coating without dissolving them. The crystals are then separated from the liquor and dissolved in water. The resulting syrup is filtered out through a carbonatation or a phosphatation process and lot of the impurities are removed at the same time. Removal of colour is achieved by either using a granular activated carbon or an ion-exchange resin. The sugar syrup is concentrated by boiling and then cooled and seeded with sugar crystals causing the sugar to crystallize out. The liquor is spun in a centrifuge and the white crystals are dried in hot air, ready to be packaged or used.
The International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis sets standards for the measurement of the purity of refined sugar, known as ICUMSA numbers; lower numbers indicate a higher level of purity in the refined sugar. The most common refined sugar is the White Refined Sugar Icumsa 45.
WHITE REFINED SUGAR ICUMSA 45
Polarisation value ( % Sucrose) 99.70 oZ Min
Reducing Sugars (%) 0.04 Max
Conductivity ash (%) 0.020 Max
Loss on drying (%) 0.06 Max
Colour (I.U) 45 Max
Brunswick Scale 3.0 Max
Total EEC points 19 Max
Insolubles (ppm) 20 Max
Particle Size (mm) Homogenous crystals, M.A: 0.45 – 0.75 mm.
Pesticides According to EU regulation on maximum residue limit (MRL)
Heavy Metals (ppm) Pb: <0.1; Cu : < 1.0; As: < 0.10; Hg: < 0.02;Cd: < 0.05 We need:
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