HOW IS SUGAR MADE?

cane

Sugar occurs naturally in plants through the process of photosynthesis. Most of our sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. Sugar cane stalks that are between 7-15 feet tall are cut and sent to a sugar mill. Sugar beets have the most sugar during the first year of their cultivation. They need the sugar to get through the colder months months. In the second year they bloom flowers and seeds.

Once the sugar cane is at the mill, the stalks are crushed into a pulp. Rollers then squeeze the sugar cane juice out. The juice has a dark grayish-green color, nothing like the white table sugar we buy! This liquid is boiled and chemicals are added to remove impurities. It is left in large tanks to evaporate into a thick syrup. The syrup is heated more to remove water. The goal is to have sugar crystals. Once these crystals are formed a centrifuge machine spins it around to separate it from the syrup.

At this point the sugar is considered raw sugar and can be used for consumption. But for mass consumption the sugar is sent to a refinery where they dissolve, treat it with chemicals, filter and crystallize it some more into white sugar.