Sugar Manufacturing Process

From Cane to Crystals

Sugarcane is broadly classified into three varieties viz., Early, General, and Unapproved. Typically sugarcane seeds are sown in the months of February and October every year. The first seed growth is known as Plant and subsequent growth after harvesting from the stem is known as Ratoon. The Early variety has more sugar content than the General variety.

All farmers within the command area of our Mills are provided with a calendar which tells them when they can expect a Mill Supply Ticket (Purchy) against which they will deliver their produce.

The farmers then harvest the cane and transport it to the mill. Sometimes the cane is also bought at the mill's own centers within the command area from where it is then transported in trucks or via rail to the mill.

Cane is weighed using an electronic weigh bridge and unloaded into cane carriers. It is then prepared for milling by knives and shredders. Sugarcane juice is then extracted by pressing the prepared cane using mills consisting of three rollers.

Extracted juice mixed with water is weighed and sent to the boiling house for further processing. Residual bagasse is sent to boilers for use as fuel for steam generation.

This juice is heated and then treated with milk of lime and Sulphur Dioxide. The treated juice is heated further and sent to clarifiers for continuous settling. The settled mud is filtered by vacuum filters and clear juice is returned for further processing while the Oliver cake is sent out.

The clear juice is evaporated to a syrup, bleached by Sulphur Dioxide and sent to vacuum pans for further concentration and forming sugar grains. Crystals are broken into a desired size and the crystallized mass is then dropped in the crystallizers to exhaust the mother liquor of its sugar to the extent possible. This is then centrifuged for separating the crystals from molasses. The molasses is boiled again for further crystallization.

Thus, the original syrup is desugarised progressively (usually thrice) until finally a viscous liquid is obtained from which sugar can no longer be recovered. This liquid, which is called final molasses, is sent to the distillery for making alcohol.

The sugar separated from molasses in the centrifuge is dried, bagged, weighed, and sent to storage houses.

Sugar is made in different sizes and assigned grades i.e. large, medium and small.

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