Sugar is the fuel that drives photosynthesis in plants. The leafy organisms constantly convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose. But it takes manufacturers specialized sugar processing technology to extract the sweet crystals from them. Today, most sugar products are derived either from sugarcane or sugar beet.
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Apply shock-liming sulphitation to clarify the juice
The shock-liming sulphitation process produces juice with a high rate of clarity. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and lime remove non-sugars from the liquid. This is generally different to the juice that comes from fruits as that usually has a low rate of clarity.
Heat the juice to 70°C-75°C for around 10 seconds to raise its pH level between 9.2 and 9.5. After neutralization with sulfur dioxide, the pH lowers to about 7.0.
Concentrate sucrose to 70 °Bx with sugar processing technology
Evaporate water in the juice of crushed sugar cane to raise the sucrose concentration. Crystallization occurs when the water content decreases to leave a minimum 70 Brix.
A multiple-effect evaporator passes the clarified juice through a heat exchanger to gradually lower moisture content. Steam from water evaporated in one effect is used to heat the subsequent effect. Steam is then collected in the condensation unit, ready to be reused.
Steam-spray the massecuite to release sugar crystals after centrifugation
Sugar crystals trapped in the massecuite after the centrifugation process present a challenge. Spraying the mesh basket achieves some recovery, but many crystals may be washed out.
Instead, treat the massecuite with steam spray post-centrifugation process to facilitate the drainage of molasses and retain the crystals. The characteristic time for heat diffusion into the molasses is about 0.6 sec.