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Sugar processing

Sugar processing

1. Cane Handling
The cane is stored in the cane yard to enable the factory crush throughout the night. The cane is offloaded by hydro unloaders and overhead gantry cranes from feed tables cane is conveyed to main cane carrier
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2. Cane Preparation
Cane preparation is the step in which cane is finely shredded before juice extraction by either milling or diffusion. Cane is prepared by being passed through one or two sets of cane knives and then the shredder. Preparation index gives an indication of the amount of juice cells that have been broken by the shredder compared with the stack.
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3. Diffusion
A diffuser is 60m long and 6m wide enclosed box with perforated bed that has a chain that drags prepared cane slowly as water and juice percolates through the bed. Diffusion is the process of washing the pol out of prepared cane at pressurised high temperature (85 deg cent). The fibre part (bagasse) is passed through dewatering mills for drying before being used as fuel at the boilers to generate steam.
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4. Juice Treatment
The juice from the diffuser is weighed as a factory chemical control measure. Juice is heated as part of the clarification process.
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5. Juice Clarification
Clarification involves the addition of lime to juice, forming mud and removal of insoluble matter. Flocculants are added to limed juice to improve the settling of the mud.
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6. Juice Evaporation
It is the concentration of clear juice from 11% brix to 63% brix. One kg of steam evaporates one kg of water from juice. One kg of steam fed to the first vessel of a quadruple effect evaporator (four vessels) will evaporate four kilos of water
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7. Sugar boiling
Is the growing of sugar crystals in highly concentrated sugar solutions in three steps (3-boiling system). The supersaturation coefficient of solution is a measure that indicates the extent to which a solution is over saturated. This over saturation is what forces sucrose to be deposited onto the crystals making them grow.
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8. Crystallization
Crystallizers are stirred tanks in which massecuite is allowed to cool, thus effecting further crystal growth as the sucrose in the mother liquor is exhausted. The purity of the liquid fraction (mother liquor) of the massecuite is called the nutsch purity. Monitoring the nutsch purity is an important way of measuring the performance of crystallizers

9. Centrifugation
A centrifugal separates mother liquor from the crystals in a massecuite. Continuous centrifugal are normally not used to produce VHP sugars

10. Sugar Drying
Sugar is dried to enhance its keeping and handling qualities. VHP sugars are dried from a moisture content of 5% to 0.1%

Bagging/packaging is done using clean food grade materials. Sugar is bagged/packaged to protect it from contamination. This is done in 50kg, 2kg, 1kg, 1/2kg, and 1/4kg.


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