How is Sugar Made?

Sugar is a carbohydrate found in various plant species. It is a product of photosynthesis in plants, producing sugar known as glucose.

The two sources of sugar used primarily in the commercial industry for consumers are sugar beet and sugar cane. These are rich sources of glucose but cane is typically sweeter than sugar beet.

Sugar cane requires an average temperature of 75 degrees F to grow. But it must also receive as much rain as it does with the heat of the sun. This is primarily the reason why tropical or subtropical areas are very ideal for the production of sugar in large commercial scale. In tropical planes, the sugarcane matures in a number of months. The subtropical planes grow and produce mature sugarcane in a year or two. Depending on the sugarcane height, the stalks may be burned before or after cutting. The taller stalks are the first to be cut down. In the United States, sugar beets and sugar cane is machine cut and delivered into processing plants as a way to separate the sugar from the crop.

The sugar beets or cane is separated from the debris and dirt. They are either removed using jogger machines or by hand. The crops are then cleaned in a carrier with hot water. The beets or cane are cut and paced in diffusion cells. These cells contain very warm water about 175 degrees F. The jet streams take away the sucrose by way of blasting the cane or beets with the warm water. The cane or beets are the removed through crushers or metal rollers. The lime is applied after to remove any impurities in the cane or beets. The lime serves as the neutralizer of the acidic juice present in the cane.

Then the juices are boiled away in water. To produce the crystallized sugar, the beet or cane syrup is then fried in a large vacuum pan. The grains of sugar are left in the pan after the syrup evaporation is complete. The syrup and sugar are separated with rotating container that spins at thousands of revolution per minute.


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