Sugar, the general term used for the carbohydrate sucrose, is found in many plants and especially in sugar beets and sugar cane. Crystal sugar is obtained from the cell sap of sugar beets in a process of gentle extraction, purification and crystallization in the following purity classes: white sugar EC category I (“refined sugar”) and white sugar EC category II (“white sugar”).
Products and applications
The industrial use of sugar for producing confectionery goods, bakery goods, chocolate, nutrients, delicatessen, fruit preparations, beverages, dairy products and other products can essentially be traced back to three basic processes, milling, mixing and dissolving. In all three cases, the process and possibly the quality of the products are influenced by the size distribution of the sugar crystals used.
Coarse sugars in particular are advantageous for milling processes. The larger crystal mass promotes the initial crushing and ensures uniform grain size ranges in the final product. For mixtures, fine sugar fractions are preferred as their smaller crystal mass and larger specific surface improves the mixing quality of the end-products (beverages from vending machines, cake mixes, instant products, etc.)
The use of a uniform fraction with medium-sized crystals is recommended to ensure that the crystal sugar dissolves rapidly and completely when producing concentrated sugar solutions for beverages, caramels, fruit preparations, etc. A particularly highly concentrated sugar solution is frequently boiled in a first stage when producing confectionery goods (sweets, fruit gums, licorice). The rate at which the sugar dissolves is critical for ensuring a rapid, gentle overall process. Due to the small specific surface area, coarse sugar dissolves fairly slowly, while fine sugars tend to cause more laminar flow conditions in stirred tanks with high sugar concentration, which in turn reduces the rate of dissolution.