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Sugar Industry

Sana Jamshaid
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates mainly sucrose, lactose and fructose,
characterized by a sweet flavor. Sugar is made by some plants to store energy that they don't
need straight away, rather like animals make fat. People like sugar for its sweetness and its
energy so some of these plants are grown commercially to extract the sugar.
Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. It and the other
sugars are present in natural and refined forms in many foods, and the refined forms are also
added to many food preparations.
Sugar has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It was not plentiful or
cheap in early timeshoney was more often used for sweetening in most parts of the world.
Sugar is produced in 121 Countries and global production now exceeds 120 Million tons a year.
Approximately 70% is produced from sugar cane, a very tall grass with big stems which is
largely grown in the tropical countries. The remaining 30% is produced from sugar beet, a root
crop resembling a large parsnip grown mostly in the temperate zones of the north.
It is thought that cane sugar was first used by man in Polynesia from where it spread to India. In
510 BC the Emperor Darius of what was then Persia invaded India where he found "the reed
which gives honey without bees". The secret of cane sugar, as with many other of man's
discoveries, was kept a closely guarded secret whilst the finished product was exported for a rich
It was the major expansion of the Arab peoples in the seventh century AD that led to a breaking
of the secret. When they invaded Persia in 642 AD they found sugar cane being grown and learnt
how sugar was made. As their expansion continued they established sugar production in other
lands that they conquered including North Africa and Spain.
Crusaders brought sugar home with them to Europe after their campaigns in the Holy Land,
where they encountered caravans carrying "sweet salt". Early in the 12th century, Venice
acquired some villages near Tyre and set up estates to produce sugar for export to Europe, where
it supplemented honey as the only other available sweetener. Crusade chronicler William of
Tyre, writing in the late 12th century, described sugar as "very necessary for the use and health
of mankind".
By 1750 there were 120 sugar refineries operating in Britain. Their combined output was only
30,000 tons per annum. At this stage sugar was still a luxury and vast profits were made to the
extent that sugar was called "white gold". Governments recognized the vast profits to be made
from sugar and taxed it highly. In Britain for instance, sugar tax in 1781 totaled 326,000, a

figure that had grown by 1815 to 3,000,000. This situation was to stay until 1874 when the
British government, under Prime Minister Gladstone, abolished the tax and brought sugar prices
within the means of the ordinary citizen.
Sugar beet was first identified as a source of sugar in 1747. No doubt the vested interests in the
cane sugar plantations made sure that it stayed as no more than a curiosity, a situation that
prevailed until the Napoleonic wars at the start of the 19th century when Britain blockaded sugar
imports to continental Europe. By 1880 sugar beet had replaced sugar cane as the main source of
sugar on continental Europe. Those same vested interests probably delayed the introduction of
beet sugar to England until the First World War when Britain's sugar imports were threatened.
Today's modern sugar industry is still beset with government interference at many levels and
throughout the world. Annual consumption is now running at about 120 million tons and is
expanding at a rate of about 2 million tons per annum. The European Union, Brazil and India are
the top three producers and together account for some 40% of the annual production. However
most sugar is consumed within the country of production and only approximately 25% is traded
Currently, Brazil has the highest per capita production of sugar. As of December 29, 2011, sugar
output in the Ukraine was 51% higher than the previous year.
More recently it is manufactured in very large quantities in many countries, largely from
sugarcane and sugar beet. In processed foods it has increasingly been supplanted by corn syrup.
Sugar Cane

Sugar cane is a genus of tropical grasses which requires strong sunlight and abundant water for
satisfactory growth. The Latin names of the species include Saccharum officinarum, S.
spontaneum, S. barberi and S. sinense. As with most commercial crops, there are many cultivars
available to the cane farmer, usually hybrids of several species. Some varieties grow up to 5
meters tall.
The cane itself looks rather like bamboo cane and it is here that the sucrose is stored. In the right
climate the cane will grow in 12 months and, when cut, will re-grow in another 12 months
provided the roots are undisturbed.
Typical sugar content for mature cane would be 10% by weight but the figure depends on the
variety and varies from season to season and location to location. Equally, the yield of cane from
the field varies considerably but a rough and ready overall value to use in estimating sugar
production is 100 tons of cane per hectare or 10 tons of sugar per hectare.

Sugar Refining
Raw sugar is made in tropical countries where sugar cane can be grown profitably. It is then
shipped in bulk to a refinery in the country where the sugar is required. It now has to be finally
cleaned up, purified and made ready for the consumer.
Clarification and evaporation
The juice from the mills, a dark green color, is acid and turbid. The clarification (or defecation)
process is designed to remove both soluble and insoluble impurities (such as sand, soil, and
ground rock) that have not been removed by preliminary screening. The process employs lime
and heat as the clarifying agents. Milk of lime (about one pound per ton of cane) neutralizes the
natural acidity of the juice, forming insoluble lime salts. Heating the lime juice to boiling
coagulates the albumin and some of the fats, waxes, and gums, and the precipitate formed
entraps suspended solids as well as the minute particles.
The sugar beet solution, on the other hand, is purified by precipitating calcium carbonate,
calcium sulfite, or both in it repeatedly. Impurities become entangled in the growing crystals of
precipitate and are removed by continuous filtration.
The muds separate from the clear juice through sedimentation. The non-sugar impurities are
removed by continuous filtration. The final clarified juice contains about 85 percent water and
has the same composition as the raw extracted juice except for the removed impurities.
To concentrate this clarified juice, about two-thirds of the water is removed through vacuum
evaporation. Generally, four vacuum-boiling cells or bodies are arranged in series so that each
succeeding body has a higher vacuum (and therefore boils at a lower temperature). The vapors
from one body can thus boil the juice in the next onethe steam introduced into the first cell
does what is called multiple-effect evaporation. The vapor from the last cell goes to a condenser.
The syrup leaves the last body continuously with about 65 percent solids and 35 percent water.
The sugar beet sucrose solution, at this point, is also nearly colorless, and it likewise undergoes
multiple-effect vacuum evaporation. The syrup is seeded, cooled, and put in a centrifuge
machine. The finished beet crystals are washed with water and dried.
Crystallization is the next step in the manufacture of sugar. Crystallization takes place in a
single-stage vacuum pan. The syrup is evaporated until saturated with sugar. As soon as the
saturation point has been exceeded, small grains of sugar are added to the pan, or "strike." These
small grains, called seed, serve as nuclei for the formation of sugar crystals. (Seed grain is
formed by adding 56 ounces [1,600 grams] of white sugar into the bowl of a slurry machine and
mixing with 3.3 parts of a liquid mixture: 70 percent methylated spirit and 30 percent glycerine.
The machine runs at 200 RPM for 15 hours.) Additional syrup is added to the strike and
evaporated so that the original crystals that were formed are allowed to grow in size.

The growth of the crystals continues until the pan is full. When sucrose concentration reaches the
desired level, the dense mixture of syrup and sugar crystals, called massecuite, is discharged into
large containers known as crystallizers. Crystallization continues in the crystallizers as the
massecuite is slowly stirred and cooled.
Massecuite from the mixers is allowed to flow into centrifugals, where the thick syrup, or
molasses, is separated from the raw sugar by centrifugal force.
The high-speed centrifugal action used to separate the massecuite into raw sugar crystals and
molasses is done in revolving machines called centrifugals. A centrifugal machine has a
cylindrical basket suspended on a spindle, with perforated sides lined with wire cloth, inside
which are metal sheets containing 400 to 600 perforations per square inch. The basket revolves at
speeds from 1,000 to 1,800 RPM. The raw sugar is retained in the centrifuge basket because the
perforated lining retains the sugar crystals. The mother liquor, or molasses, passes through the
lining (due to the centrifugal force exerted). The final molasses (blackstrap molasses) containing
sucrose, reducing sugars, organic nonsugars, ash, and water, is sent to large storage tanks.
Once the sugar is centrifuged, it is "cut down" and sent to a granulator for drying. In some
countries, sugarcane is processed in small factories without the use of centrifuges, and a darkbrown product (noncentrifugal sugar) is produced. Centrifugal sugar is produced in more than 60
countries while noncentrifugal sugar in about twenty countries.
Drying and packaging
Damp sugar crystals are dried by being tumbled through heated air in a granulator. The dry
sugar crystals are then sorted by size through vibrating screens and placed into storage bins.
Sugar is then sent to be packed in the familiar packaging we see in grocery stores, in bulk
packaging, or in liquid form for industrial use.Pure cane or beet granulated sucrose stores the
best. Purchase top quality refined sugar from trusted commercial sources. Raw sugars and honey
are less pure and will have a shorter shelf life. Commercial, filtered liquid honey will last the
longest in storage. Select filtered, top quality syrups or honey for storage. Comb honey,
unfiltered honey, or raw sugar syrups do not store well. Brown sugars have natural moisture and
do not store as well for long term storage.
Storage containers should be opaque, airtight, and moisture/ odor-proof. The typical retail paper
package for crystal sugars is not suitable for long term storage. Polyethylene bags, Mylar-type
bags, food-grade plastic buckets, glass canning jars, and cans are all suitable for dry sugar
storage. Glass canning jars and cans work best for liquid syrups and honey. Removing oxygen
for long term sugar and honey storage is not required and not recommended. Honey is slightly
acidic. It will cause rust in metal containers or on metal lids.

Flow sheet of sugar refining

By products
The bagasse produced after extracting the juice from sugar cane is used as fuel to generate steam
in factories. Increasingly large amounts of bagasse are being made into paper, insulating board,
and hardboard, as well as furfural, a chemical intermediate for the synthesis of furan and
The beet tops and extracted slices as well the molasses are used as feed for cattle. It has been
shown that more feed for cattle and other such animals can be produced per acre-year from beets
than from any other crop widely grown in the United States. The beet strips are also treated
chemically to facilitate the extraction of commercial pectin.
The end product derived from sugar refining is blackstrap molasses. It is used in cattle feed as
well as in the production of industrial alcohol, yeast, organic chemicals, and rum.
Quality Control
Mill sanitation is an important factor in quality control measures. Bacteriologists have shown
that a small amount of sour bagasse can infect the whole stream of warm juice flowing over it.
Modern mills have self-cleaning troughs with a slope designed in such a way that bagasse does

not hold up but flows out with the juice stream. Strict measures are taken for insect and pest
Because cane spoils relatively quickly, great steps have been taken to automate the methods of
transportation and get the cane to the mills as quickly as possible. Maintaining the high quality of
the end-product means storing brown and yellow refined sugars (which contain two percent to
five percent moisture) in a cool and relatively moist atmosphere, so that they continue to retain
their moisture and do not become hard.
Most granulated sugars comply with standards established by the National Food Processors
Association and the pharmaceutical industry (U.S. Pharmacopeia, National Formulary).

Beet Sugar
Sugar beet is a temperate climate biennial root crop. It produces sugar during the first year of
growth in order to see it over the winter and then flowers and seeds in the second year. It is
therefore sown in spring and harvested in the first autumn/early winter. As for sugar cane, there
are many cultivars available to the beet farmer. The beet stores the sucrose in the bulbous root
which bears a strong resemblance to a fat parsnip.
Typical sugar content for mature beets is 17% by weight but the value depends on the variety
and it does vary from year to year and location to location. This is substantially more than the
sucrose content of mature cane but the yields of beet per hectare are much lower than for cane so
that the expected sugar production is only about 7 tons per hectare.
Sugar from Starch
Starches are chemically bound clusters of sugar molecules found in plants. Under the right
conditions, starch molecules can be broken down into sugar. This makes it possible to obtain
sugar from the starch of many different plants, rather than just sugar beets or sugar cane. This is
now being done by industrial scale starch saccharification. The most important sources of starch
are maize, potatoes and wheat.
Strong acids were once used to break apart molecules and release sugar. Now enzymes do the
job offering many advantages: Wit enzymes, the process target the proper chemical bonds much
more precisely. Different enzymes can be used to produce syrups with different levels of
sweetness and different technical characteristics. The end products are not only used as custom
tailored ingredients in countless foods and drinks, they can also be further processed into
glucose, artificial sweeteners, or fat substituent.
For a long time, breaking down starch (saccharification) didnt make economic sense. Things
changed, however, as soon as the enzymes responsible for this process became available at low
cost, high quality, and at unlimited quantities. Now, almost all of the enzymes used to break
down starch are produced with the help of genetically modified microorganisms.

Environmental Impacts of Sugar Production

With the increasing demand for sugar, substantial areas have been cleared for cane cultivation,
leading to the loss of habitats including rainforest, and tropical seasonal forest to name a few. In
South America, South East Asia and Australia, the area under cultivation has continued to
expand in recent years. Land clearance results in the direct loss of species and habitats and even
have a wider impact on ecosystem function including water supply and soil erosion.
Excessive water consumption and water pollution
Cultivating and processing sugar crops is a relatively water intensive process involving a number
of stages that use water. Processing beets consumes a large amount of water as they need to wash
off the soil from the beets at harvest. Waterways and aquatic habitats can be polluted by
agrochemicals and other sediments used in the cultivation process.
One of the most significant environmental impact from cane and beet processing is related to
polluted effluent. In some countries with weak environmental laws, sugar mills release a
tremendous amount of matter when they are cleaned annually. This effluent is usually discharged
straight into streams. Cane mill effluents tend to be relatively rich in organic matter compared to
other sources, and the decomposition of this matter reduces the oxygen levels in the water,
affecting natural biochemical processes and the species inhabiting those freshwater systems.
Potential pollutants in these effluents include heavy metals, oil, grease and cleaning agents.
Soil Degradation
Sugar cane cultivation causes soil erosion and reduces its capability for water retention. In many
areas, cane is cultivated on slopes, and beet is often cultivated in such a way that fields are left
bare over winter; both activities exacerbate erosion risks. Other soil quality impacts commonly
associated with sugar crop cultivation include loss of soil organic matter, changes in nutrient
levels, salinization and acidification.
Air Pollution
Farmers burn sugarcane to reduce the amount of leafy extraneous material such as dried cane
leaves and stalk tops ("cane trash") to reduce the cost of harvesting, hauling and milling the cane.
Cane is essentially burned everywhere it is grown. There are some "green" harvesting in a few
areas most notably in Australia, but they use different varieties of cane developed specifically for
their geographic area, soil types, and climatic conditions.
Overall, there is currently no proven technology that allows for economically efficient harvesting
without burning. Being able to burn sugarcane is a significant economic factor for the survival of
the individual farmer and the sugarcane industry. Without it, production costs would increase
considerably and the farmer would not survive as the price of sugar remains low. There is
currently no effective way to deal with the enormous volume of cane trash by mechanical means.


1. Molan PC. The antibacterial activity of honey. 2. The nature of the antibacterial
activity. Bee World 1992; 73(1): 5-28

Sugar Industry
Msc.Regular 3rd Semester
Submitted to:
Sir Abdul Karim
Submitted by:
Sana Jamshaid


Shagufta Rehman


Amna Safdar


Anum Ibrar