The Life Of Sugar: How Does Sugar Cane Go From A Sugar Cane Plant To The Sugar We Consume Everyday?
Sugar cane goes through quite the process to turn into the sparkling sweet crystals on your table. Read below to find out this fascinating transformation take place!
- #1 Sugar cane is grown all over the world. It grows best in warm, tropical environments.
- #2 When the grown sugar cane is ready to be harvested, it is cut using a machine. This special machine cuts at the base and rotating scrolls chop the cane into pieces. A fan blows light leaves & twigs back on the field.
- #3 The cane pieces are transported to the sugar mill to be pressed. Once cut, sugar cane begins to lose its sugar content, so cut canes are transported to the mill quickly - in 24 hours or less.
- #4 The cane pieces are unloaded onto a conveyor and are chopped up to make smaller fibrous pieces.
- #5 The crushed pieces are then milled. By pressing them repeatedly under large mill rolls, the sweet sucrose is extracted from the cane.
- #6 The fiber is then recycled as a renewable fuel to make clean energy for the process.
- #7 The juice is then clarified to remove any remaining pulp and other natural impurities.
- #8 The juice is then thickened to a syrup by boiling off the water using a steam process called evaporation.
- #9 This thick syrup is then placed in another boiler, and even more water is boiled off until conditions are right for the sugar crystals to grow.
- #10 Once the crystals have formed the mixture is put into a centrifuge to separate the crystals from the thick, remaining molasses, (much like the spin cycle on your washing machine)
- #11 The sugar crystals are then sent through a large dryer that gives them a final dry with hot air to remove any moisture.
- #12 Sugar is then packaged and shipped to your grocery store, ready for your sweet enjoyment!
Did you know?
- Sugar cane is cut at the stem, leaving the roots, which will regrow more sugar cane!
- At maturity, sugar cane can tower at 20 feet!
- In all, the entire factory process typically takes 15 hours.
- Nothing is wasted in sugar production. The pulp, or cane fiber, is sent to the boilers where it is burned and used for energy! The steam from the boiling water is then used to drive a turbine in order to make electricity and create steam
for the sugar making process.
ASR Group | Visit the world's largest canesugar refiner at www.asr-group.com for more information.