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Sugar processing

Production

How long does it take to process sugar beet into crystal sugar?
If it were possible to flag a molecule of sugar in a beet that is transported to the factory for processing to make it recognisable, it would take less than an average of 8 hours for it to be transported back to the silo as newly produced crystal sugar.

Is chemistry involved in sugar processing?
Physical processes such as filtration, evaporation and crystallisation are used in sugar processing. Chemical reactions are used to purify the juice: The substances extracted from the sugar beet together with the sugar are separated out using lime milk and carbon dioxide as auxiliary materials. Not all non-sugar substances react with the lime in this process. Very small doses of other process materials are used, for example to prevent the undesired formation of foam or coating of evaporator heating surfaces. The sugar itself does not undergo any chemical change.

Why is sugar such a pure white?
Sugar only appears to be white. The sugar crystals are actually colourless. All substances that might impart colour are removed during processing. The surfaces of the colourless crystals reflect incoming light. This creates an impression of whiteness, as in the case of snow.

Are all kinds of sugar produced at each works?
No, there is a division of labour between individual works, so that each type can be produced and delivered cost-effectively, depending on market demand.