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FAQ

Sugar beet as a raw material

What is the sugar content of sugar beet?
The sugar content of sugar beet is about 18 % on average. It can vary from below 15 % to over 23 % depending on the variety, weather conditions and location.

Do sugar beet contain more sugar during hot summers?
Sugar beet need the sun to grow in summer, but also sufficient rain. If there is insufficient rain, the beet cannot grow enough and remain small. Although they then generally have a higher sugar content, the sugar yield per hectare remains small.

Who determines the sugar content?
A sample of approximately 20-25 sugar beet is taken from each consignment of sugar beet. The sugar content and other important constituents are determined for each consignment of sugar beet in a special laboratory at the sugar factory.

How many sugar beet does it take to make 1 kg of sugar?
It takes about 9 sugar beet to make 1 kg of sugar. This corresponds to an area under cultivation of about 1 square metre.

Does the sugar content of the beet fall if they are stored?
The sugar beet is the storage organ of the sugar beet plant. During storage (for example in a sugar beet clamp at the edge of the field), the sugar beet use up the stored sugar in order to maintain essential metabolic processes. The daily rate of sugar loss during storage is low, however.

Out of 1 kg of sugar stored in sugar beet, about 1 g per day is lost under normal storage conditions.

What happens if sugar beet is exposed to frost?
After the harvest, sugar beet are normally stored temporarily in clamps at the edge of the field and they freeze if they are exposed to heavy frost over a relatively long period. Although they are still easy to process when they are frozen, if the weather changes and the beet thaw out, they spoil quickly and give rise to considerable processing problems as a result.

The beet therefore need to be covered and protected against frost.

Are genetically modified sugar beet processed in Germany?
No. No genetically modified sugar beet are converted into sugar in Germany.