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Sugar refinery

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**History and Evolution of Sugar Refineries:**
– Refining sugar originated in Khorasan, Persia.
– Venetians and Germans played key roles in refining sugar in the past.
– Dutch dominance in the European market led to the development of large refineries.
– The introduction of steam power and machinery revolutionized the refining process in the 1800s.
– The insurance industry evolved due to risks associated with large refineries.
– State-of-the-art refineries have been built in the Middle East and North Africa since the 1990s.
– American Sugar Refining stands as the world’s largest sugar refinery company.

**Sugar Refining Process and Techniques:**
– Early modern era sugar refinery process involved standard steps like mixing raw sugar with bullocks blood and lime-water.
– Industrial sugar refineries in the 19th century utilized gravity to transport sugar through refining steps.
– The process included steps like evaporation, crystallization, and granulation.
– Purification involved carbonatation and phosphatation for clarification and decolorization.
– Crystallization techniques involved mixing thick juice with recycled crystal sugar and using seed crystals for uniform growth.

**Global Sugar Refining Industry Overview:**
Sugar refineries worldwide process raw sugar from cane or beets into white refined sugar.
– Cane sugar mills produce raw sugar with molasses, while beet sugar factories crystallize sugar extract directly into white sugar.
– The quality of sugar produced varies based on the refining process and raw materials used.
– The industry has seen significant expansion and innovation over the centuries, with key players emerging in different regions.

**Storage and Byproducts in Sugar Refineries:**
– Raw sugar storage can impact the quality of the final product due to microbial growth.
– Affination is a crucial process in removing molasses film from raw sugar crystals.
– Byproducts like molasses and bagasse have various industrial applications, including winter control operations and de-icing.
Molasses is also utilized as a cattle fodder supplement and for improving the effectiveness of de-icers.

**Literature and Technical Advances in Sugar Refining:**
– Various historical publications and works have documented the evolution and practices in the sugar refining industry.
– Technical processes like continuous dissolution and centrifugal control have been introduced to enhance the efficiency and quality of sugar refining.
– Geographical influences, such as the German presence in the British sugar industry and the sugar trade in Hamburg, have shaped the industry’s development.

Sugar refinery (Wikipedia)

A sugar refinery is a refinery which processes raw sugar from cane or sugar extracted from beets into white refined sugar.

The Domino sugar refinery in Arabi, Louisiana, USA
The same in operation
Sugar refinery in Nantes, Atlantic coast of France

Cane sugar mills traditionally produce raw sugar, which is sugar that still contains molasses, giving it more colour (and impurities) than the white sugar which is normally consumed in households and used as an ingredient in soft drinks and foods. Raw cane sugar does not need refining to be palatable. It is refined for reasons such as health, color, and the requirement for a pure sugar taste. Raw sugar is stable for transport and can be from mills to locations for processing into white sugar. Cane sugar mills / factories often produce a partially refined product called 'Plantation White' for their local market, but this is inferior to white sugar made by refineries.

Beet sugar factories can also produce raw sugar, but this has an unpleasant taste. There is no separate raw sugar stage to the process; the sugar extract from the beet is, after cleaning, crystallised directly into white sugar.

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