Sugar Production from
The basic process
Sugar cane must be crushed to extract the juice. The crushing process must break up the hard
nodes of the cane and flatten the stems. The juice is collected, filtered and sometimes treated
and then boiled to drive off the excess water. The dried cane residue (bagasse) is often used as
fuel for this process. The remaining liquid is allowed to set into a solid mass known as jaggery,
gur, chancaca or panela (Gur is used in the rest of this document).
The following terminology is used in this technical brief:
The fibrous residue of sugar cane which remains after the crushing operation.
The evaporation of moisture from the juice at temperatures of between 90 and
Brix The term 'degrees Brix' (or more usually ºBrix) is the sugar 'technologists'
measure of the concentration of dissolved solids in solution.
Clarification Removal of impurities from the juice.
The removal of juice from the cane by crushing.
This term is used throughout to indicate a sugar processing plant regardless of
its type, processing capacity or physical size.
Invert sugar High temperatures and acid conditions can cause chemical decomposition of
the sucrose resulting in simpler sugars such as glucose and fructose forming.
These sugars are known as invert sugars and are not desirable in the final
Massecuite The concentrated cane juice obtained after boiling, also known as rab or final
A syrup by-product from the manufacture of sugar, containing sucrose, invert
sugars, moisture, ash and other insoluble matter.
Open Pan (OP) Describes sugar produced by boiling juice in open pans at
OPS Open Pan Sulphitation (OPS) is a method for production of white
granular sugar, developed in India.
The proportion of sugar produced by weight of cane processed, usually
expressed as a percentage. For example, 10% recovery means that for every
100kg of cane processed 10kg of sugar is produced.
The removal of massecuite from the boiling operation at the required
An organic chemical of the carbohydrate family, found in the sap of most green
plants. Ordinary white crystal sugar is almost (99.9%) pure sucrose while some
of the non-crystalline sugars may contain less; for example syrup and jaggery
which contain as little as 50 and 80% sucrose respectively.
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