Enhanced Exchange orchestrates production and supply of Raw and Refined Sugars
Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. The various types of sugar are derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. “Table sugar” or “granulated sugar” refers to sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. Sucrose is used in prepared foods (e.g. cookies and cakes), is sometimes added to commercially available beverages, and may be used by people as a sweetener for foods (e.g. toast and cereal) and beverages (e.g. coffee and tea).
Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are especially concentrated in sugarcane and sugar beet, making them ideal for efficient commercial extraction to make refined sugar.
Refined sugar is made from raw sugar that has undergone a refining process to remove the molasses. Raw sugar is sucrose which is extracted from sugarcane or sugar beet. While raw sugar can be consumed, the refining process removes unwanted tastes and results in refined sugar or white sugar. Refined sugar is widely used for industrial needs for higher quality. Refined sugar is purer (ICUMSA below 300) than raw sugar (ICUMSA over 1,500). The level of purity associated with the colors of sugar, expressed by standard number ICUMSA, the smaller ICUMSA numbers indicate the higher purity of sugar.
Global production of sugarcane in 2016 was 1.9 billion tonnes, with Brazil producing 41% of the world total and India 18%. Sugarcane, on average, accounts for about 80% of global sugar production.
Sugar cane requires a frost-free climate with enough rainfall during the growing season to make full use of the plant’s substantial growth potential. The crop is harvested mechanically or by hand, chopped into lengths and conveyed rapidly to the processing plant (commonly known as a sugar mill) where it is either milled and the juice extracted with water or extracted by diffusion.
In 2016, global production of sugar beets was 277 million tonnes, led by EU-28 and Russia with more than 60% of the world total.
The sugar beet became a major source of sugar in the 19th century when methods for extracting the sugar became available. It is a tuberous root and biennial plant which contains a high proportion of sucrose. It is cultivated as a root crop in temperate regions with adequate rainfall and requires a fertile soil. The crop is harvested mechanically in the autumn and the crown of leaves and excess soil removed. The roots do not deteriorate rapidly and may be left in the field for some weeks before being transported to the processing plant where the crop is washed and sliced, and the sugar extracted by diffusion.