Sugar is the world’s predominant sweetener. It satisfies the human appetite for sweetness and contributes calories to our diet. Sugar is used in cooking, in the preparation of commercially processed foods, and as an additive to drinks; it is also a preservative and fermenting agent. It sweetens without changing the flavor of food and drink. It is cheap to transport, easy to store, and relatively imperishable.
Production of Sugar
Sugarcane is a perennial grass of the humid tropics. Sugarcane is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions and grows well on both hillsides and flat land. With the mechanization of harvesting, a recent development that dates only from the 1950s, the industry has come to prefer flat land where the machines can function most effectively.
A long harvest season is preferable to a short one because it permits the economic use of labor and machinery. Fields of cane, therefore, must mature in succession over a period of months. This can be achieved by staggering the planting of the fields and by cultivating a combination of quick-maturing and slow-maturing varieties. Cane ratoons complicate the operation because they mature more quickly than the plant cane. Sugar Manufacture
Before one can get to enjoy the use of sugar, its manufacture is a very intricate process consisting of the following processes: Evaporation: Removal of excess water from clear juice to achieve a brix of 640. This is done with the help of evaporators working in series under vacuum. Crystallization: Formation and development of sugar crystals to the required size. This is done by boiling in pans under vacuum. Separation: This is the separation of sugar crystals from molasses by application of centrifugal force in centrifugal machines. Drying: The wet sugar is dried in a drier to the required moisture content. Packaging: Sugar is packaged into sizes that are suitable for the market in bags of 5kg to 50kg and branded packets of 0.25kg, 0.5kg, 1.0kg and 2kg. Storage:...
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