Sugar Production: Sugar Canes
Sugar cane is a perennial grass that grows up to 3 to 4 meters in height. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions that receive abundant rainfall .3 Some varieties can reproduce through seeds, but it is more efficient to grow the cane by vegetative propagation wherein its stalks are cut into small pieces and planted in the soil.
The sugar cane stem is the largest part of the plant, with a mature stem containing 11-16% fibre, 12-16% soluble sugars, and the rest of it is mostly water. On average, one hectare of land produces 60-70 tonnes of sugar cane.3
Once the cane is harvested, it is transported to factories where it is crushed to extract its juice. Then, the sugar cane juice is boiled until the water evaporates, leaving behind sugar crystals. After this, the crystals pass through centrifuge machines that get rid of impurities. The final product is then dried, packed, and ready to be consumed.
Brazil and India produce the highest amount of cane sugar in the world. Other countries with similar tropical climates also produce sugar from cane in varying quantities.4
What Is Beet Sugar
Beet sugar is derived from the sugar beet plant, a root vegetable closely related to beetroot and chard .
Along with sugarcane, sugar beets are among the most common plants used in the production of white sugar .
Sugar beets are also used to produce other types of refined sugar, such as molasses and brown sugar .
However, since the source of the sugar is not always disclosed on food products and labels, it can be difficult to determine whether they contain beet or cane sugar.
Beet sugar is made from the sugar beet plant. Along with cane sugar, its one of the most common types of refined sugar on the market.
How To Process Sugar Cane
At a sugar mill or facility, sugar cane undergoes the first of two possible stages of processing. The end result is raw sugar, which is pure sugar with some molasses content remaining. Molasses is a by-product of sugar, and is what gives raw sugar its brown appearance. Sugar cane processing at a mill requires a few stages to get sugar from sugar cane, and we will go through in them more detail below:
Once the cane has been graded, it is washed to remove any impurities ahead of being processed. The cleaning of the cane can be done wet or dry. Dry cleaning is the preferred method as it is more environmentally friendly and does not affect the TRS content.
After the cane has been dried, it is chopped before it is crushed in big roller mills. This process removes the sugar cane juice. The juice is the valuable extract as it is used for sugar and ethanol production. The sugar cane waste, which is known as bagasse, is then used as fuel to generate electricity in the power plant.
The sugar cane juice is then sent for clarification. Thejuice is treated for precipitate elimination via coagulation and sedimentation.The process removes sand, clay and other substances from the juice. Nearly 90%of the weight of sugar cane is juice, which contains up to 17% of sucrose and small amounts of dextrose and fructose.
For every 100 tonnes of cane that is processed, about 12tonnes of VHP sugar is produced and 4 tonnes of molasses.
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How To Make Simple Syrup From Scratch
In simplest terms, simple syrup is liquid sugara mixture of equal parts sugar and water. Its an ideal sweetener for refreshing homemade drinks of all kinds, and its so easy to make in just 5 minutes.
- Bring sugar and water to a light simmer, stirring regularly.
- Just before it boils, turn off the heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Transfer to a jar and allow to cool before storing.
How Is Sugar Made From A Cane
. Hereof, is all sugar made from sugarcane?
Sugar is made in the leaves of the sugarcane plant through photosynthesis and stored as a sweet juice in sugarcane stalks. Sugarcane is cut down and harvested then sent to a factory. At the factory, cane juice is extracted, purified, filtered and crystalized into golden, raw sugar.
Secondly, how is granulated sugar made? Refined sugar is made from raw sugar that has undergone a refining process to remove the molasses. Raw sugar is sucrose which is extracted from sugarcane or sugar beet.
In this regard, how is cane sugar different from white sugar?
Once made into white sugar, cane and beet sugar are indistinguishable. Unlike beet sugar, cane sugar is always non-GMO because there are no commercially viable GMO sugar cane varieties. Conventional white sugar is also referred to as refined sugar, granulated sugar or table sugar.
How is sugar cane used?
Sugarcane provides a juice, which is used for making white sugar, and jaggery and many by-products 1ike bagasse and molasses. Bagasse is used as a fuel, for production of fiber board, papers, plastics and furfural. Molasses, also, is used as an additive to feeds for livestock.
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Which One Is Healthier
It all boils down to, Which type of sugar will bring significance to my overall health?. Well show you how they differ with their nutritional value. Lets compare.
According to nutritionix.com every 1 tsp of..
Cane Sugar has..
- 0.2% calcium
- 0.1% iron
If you compare both, theres zero difference. Both contain the same nutritional value. I dont think it matters which one youre going to choose for the sake of healthier option because both of them are healthy sugars.
Both are better sweetener option when youre trying to cut down calories instead of the regular refined white sugar.
Still, its good to note that anything taken beyond moderation is UNHEALTHY and RISKY for you. If youre diabetic or you have other health issues pertaining to sugar, always seek your doctor for advice.
History Of Sucrose Refinement
The production of table sugar has a long history. Some scholars claim Indians discovered how to crystallize sugar during the Gupta dynasty, around AD 350.
Other scholars point to the ancient manuscripts of China, dated to the 8th century BC, where one of the earliest historical mentions of sugar cane is included along with the fact that their knowledge of sugar cane was derived from India. Further, it appears that by about 500 BC, residents of present-day India began making sugar syrup and cooling it in large flat bowls to make raw table sugar crystals that were easier to store and transport. In the local Indian language, these crystals were called khanda , which is the source of the word candy.
Sugar remained a luxury in much of the world until the 18th century. Only the wealthy could afford it. In the 18th century, the demand for table sugar boomed in Europe and by the 19th century it had become regarded as a human necessity. The use of sugar grew from use in tea, to cakes, confectionery and chocolates. Suppliers marketed sugar in novel forms, such as solid cones, which required consumers to use a sugar nip, a pliers-like tool, in order to break off pieces.
Today, a large beet refinery producing around 1,500 tonnes of sugar a day needs a permanent workforce of about 150 for 24-hour production.
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How Natural Cane Sugar Is Made
For many years, natural cane sugar has been a great alternative for sugar. Because sugar has been frowned upon by health experts and nutritionists, many have turned to cane sugar for their baking and cooking needs. But what is natural cane sugar?
Natural cane sugar is a different type of sugar that is made from harvesting the sugarcane plant. Although it is still a type of sugar, natural cane sugar differs in many different ways. Natural cane sugar has a slightly different color and flavor profile, as opposed to normal, everyday sugar. In todays blog post, well be taking a closer look at how natural cane sugar is made and how it differs compared to everyday sugar.
How To Grow Sugar Cane
Sugar cane is grown in warm to tropical areas of the world, with Brazil, India, Thailand, China and Australia as the leading global producers of sugar cane. Each sugar cane farm has multiple fields all at different stages of production to ensure that there is always cane available to supply the mill. From planting the cane through to harvest, the process can take up to 18 months making sugar cane quite a slow crop to produce. For this reason, preparation of the cane ahead of it being planted is vital.
The leaves are removed from the cane and then cut into 20cm tranches. The field row is then prepared with incisions made in the field at approximately 15-20cm in width. The cane is then placed inside the hole horizontally and left to grow. The success of producing sugar begins with healthy soil. This is done with the addition of nutrients and lots of water.
Sugar Cane takes approximately 12-18 months to mature fully. During this time, it is important that the cane is treated with pesticides and fertiliser to enable a healthy and high yielding cane plant.
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Whats The Difference Between Cane Sugar And Beet Sugar
White table sugar comes from either sugarcane or sugar beets and is usually sold without its plant source clearly identified. This is becausechemically speakingthe two products are identical. Refined table sugar is pure, crystallized sucrose, much in the same way that pure salt is simply sodium chloride. Sucrose is found naturally in honey, dates, and sugar maple sap, but it is most concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beets. The refining process renders the original plant irrelevant as the sucrose is completely extracted from the plant that produced it.
However, distinguishing between cane and beet sugar is not completely a marketing ploy and is fairly common on sugars sold in health food stores. In order to make sugarcane crystals pure white, the sugar is usually processed with bone char beet sugar does not require this step. Although the final sugarcane product does not have bone in it, this distinction is important to many vegans and other vegetarians who seek to minimize animal suffering.
Cane Sugar Vs Brown Sugar: Whats The Difference
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.
Sugar is a common natural sweetener present in most kitchens. It has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Although sugar has a lot of variants, Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar are one of the most common variants.
The difference between Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar is that: Cane Sugar is extracted from cane juice which involves boiling and filtration process while still retaining its natural moisture and molasses. Its still at its rawest form thats why its considered organic. While the Brown Sugar also goes through the same process, the difference is its being refined after filtration until it crystallizes. It has a little bit of molasses content left which explains its brown color.
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What Is The Healthiest Cane Sugar
We covered the fact that cane sugars are an excellent source of caloriesmostly from sucrose. However, they are not a significant source of any other nutrient. One exception is cane molasses, which is a good source of minerals, but we don’t eat enough of it to get the health benefits.
A common misconception is that raw and unrefined sugars are healthier than table sugar…
Those no-guilt inducing type of sweeteners.
Unrefined sweeteners do have slightly more nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants when compared to refined and raw sugars.
However, the amount per serving is minuscule. We would have to eat a truly unhealthful amount of unrefined sweeteners to get a daily micronutrient requirement or the positive health effects from them.
The calories and sugar content in unrefined sugar outweigh the advantages of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The surprising truth about cane sugars:
Any sweetener from cane is a blend of sugars and water.
Their main component is sucrose, a double sugar. Their second predominant components are glucose and fructose, both simple sugars. Their water content varies from 0.03 percent to 50 percent .
Dry sweeteners contain over 95 percent sugar and provide about 15 calories per teaspoon. Sweeteners in liquid forms have over 50 percent sugar and provide approximately 20 calories per teaspoon.
All cane sugars are easily digestible and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
GI refined white sugars : 64±4
GI brown sugars : 62±2
Side Streams From Sugar Production
The sugar production industry generates solid wastes and liquid wastes . The main side stream is sugar beet pulp , which accounts for 3%5% of sugar beet. Molasses is the main coproduct and accounts for 3%5% of sugar beet. The wet SBP produced after the diffusion process contains approximately 90% moisture. The wet SBP is initially pressed to 75% moisture content and the removed water and sucrose are recycled back in the diffusion step. The SBP is subsequently dried to 10% moisture content in drum dryers. Many sugar factories pelletize the dry SBP to facilitate its handling and transportation as the density increases from 200240 to 640720 kg/m3. Molasses is usually added during pelletizing . SBP is mainly used as animal feed. A representative SBP composition is shown in Table 9.9 .
Table 9.9. Representative composition of SBP pellets.
In 2017, sugar beet production worldwide and in Europe was 301.0 and 207.9 million tonnes respectively . If it is assumed that 5.5% of processed sugar beet ends up as SBP, then its availability in the European Union in 2017 can be estimated at 11.5 million tonnes .
Table 9.10. Estimated quantities of SBP and fermentable sugars in EU based on FAOSTAT data.
|Quantity of sugar beet
I. Shield, in, 2016
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Conversion Of Feedstocks By Subcritical Hydrolysis
For the reducing sugar production from industrial biomass wastes , fermentable hexoses have been produced. The highest yield of fermentable hexoses from corn stalks was obtained at 280°C and 27 seconds . From wheat straw, the highest yield of fermentable hexoses was obtained at 280°C and 54 seconds . When considering the total reducing sugars, a significant yield is reported . Amongst the reducing sugars, xylose represented 7.6% . A maximum solubilization and delignification of 53% and 86%, respectively, was obtained from the Miscanthus giganteus using subcritical water hydrolysis. The best condition was reported to be at 200°C, S/F equal to 100, and with a water:ethanol mixture of 50:50 .
As reported by Cardenas-Toro et al. , the highest biomass conversion and the highest total reducing sugar yield were obtained for any pressure and S/F ratio studied. After performing the subcritical hydrolysis in semicontinuous mode, the highest selectivity for saccharide formation was obtained at 150°C . The optimal conditions for high saccharide formation and low sugar degradation product in subcritical hydrolysis were reached at 250°C, 15 MPa, S/F equal to 120, and at a residence time of 2.5 minutes. In such conditions, the total reducing sugar yield was 22.9 g glucose/100 g carbohydrate and the biomass conversion was 84.9%.
Sarita Cândida Rabelo, … Pedro Yoritomo Souza Nakasu, in, 2020
Are Brown Sugar And Jaggery/unrefined Cane Sugar The Same
No. Although cane sugar is in granules and has a brown color thanks to the molasses content, it is far less processed than brown sugar. When making brown sugar, a centrifugal process is used to make regular sugar and then a specific amount of molasses is added back into it to create different types of brown sugar.
In both the unrefined cane sugar and jaggery, nothing is removed from the sugar, thus making it contain higher nutritional value and different sweetness levels.
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Cane Sugar And Brown Sugar Doesnt Taste The Same
Cane Sugars flavor has more body and depth. It almost tastes like vanilla with a mild floral or fruity aroma. The molasses and other minerals left inside the crystals made a difference.
Brown Sugar, on the other hand, may vary in flavor depending on how brown it is. Light brown sugar has a more toffee-like taste, its milder and less complex. Dark brown sugar is more caramel-like with a more enhanced molasses flavor.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
To make corn syrup, corn is harvested and sent to a mill. Corn is crushed and filtered in the mill to separate cornstarch from other parts of corn. Enzymes are then added to the cornstarch liquid to breakdown the corn starch into individual glucose molecules As the name implies, high fructose corn syrup is corn syrup where glucose has partially changed into fructose . It comes in 2 primary compositions- HFCS-42 and HFCS-55, which means it is composed of either 42% or 55% fructose. Table sugar, on the other hand, is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, so the composition of these sweeteners is not that different. To turn corn syrup into high fructose corn syrup, enzymes are added to convert some of the glucose molecules into fructose- sometimes called fruit sugar because it can be found in fruits!
There are a lot of myths out there about high fructose corn syrup. The Corn Refiners Association helps bust some of these misconceptions.
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How Jaggery Is Made
Humans have been sweetening their foods for thousands of years. Whether its through honey, natural sugar syrups such as maple syrup, or by using sugar beet or cane sugar, its all done to sweeten our dishes. Which sugar you use, used to depended on where you lived and what sugar type was available there. In regions where sugar cane grew , cane sugar is commonly used. In other areas one of the many other sweeteners might be more common.
Cane sugar grows great somewhat close to the equator and thus is commonly used in the surrounding countries. There are a lot of ways to process sugar cane into a suitable sweetener. You can either focus on completely isolating the sugar from the cane by using more advanced crystallization processes.
A more traditional process though doesnt create beautiful clean white sugar. Instead, the resulting sweeteners contains sugar, but also a lot of other ingredients naturally present in the sugar cane. This gives flavor bombs fully of sugar and all sorts of other ingredients. In India this product is referred to as jaggery. But, similar products can be found around the world such as panela from Southern America.