- What is the Sugar Refinery installed capacity?
- What is the raw material in the refining process?
- Why do we refine sugar?
- What Does the Sugar Refinery do?
- How do we refine sugar?
- Does the refining process make the sugar any harmful to health?
- We hear of industrial and domestic sugar, what is the difference?
- How does one assess the quality of sugar?
- What is our competitive advantage in terms of product safety?
- What is our competitive advantage in terms of product quality?
Q. What is the Sugar Refinery installed capacity?
Our installed capacity is 2000 metric tons melt per day giving us 40,000 bags of 50 Kg bags per day.
Q. What is the raw material in the refining process?
The raw material is basically sugar obtained by crystallising sugar juices extracted from crushed sugar cane. In some cases it could be sugar juices extracted from sugar Beet, which is obtainable in temperate regions. But in our case, we use raw sugar manufactured by crystallising sugar juices extracted from sugar cane. This we import at the moment from Brazil.
Q. Why do we refine sugar?
The original sugar juice is a mixture of numerous sugars such as Glucose, Sucrose, and others. In refining sugar, we are trying to bring out the naturally crystallisable Sucrose out of the solution. It is this Sucrose that has that white crystalline granular appearance. In this form, it is also easier to store the sugar provided it’s kept in a clean dry environment.
Q. What Does the Sugar Refinery do?
We purify raw sugar by removing colourant materials occluded within the crystals so there can be white crystalline sugar which is what we see as either sugar cubes, or granulated sugar. These colourant materials are ash, Dextran, and parent molasses which is solution of other non-crystallisable sugars.
Q. How do we refine sugar?
We refine sugar by dissolving the raw sugar in water and then precipitating out of the solution the colourant materials using a neutralisation reaction of Phosphoric acid and milk of lime. The Phosphate salt formed has a spongy surface that removes the colour because of their molecular weight. The scum formed is then made to float with the aid of FDA-approved flocculant. Though there are other methods of colour removal, but among numerous others, we chose to use this method because it is eco-friendly and guarantees food safety.
Q. Does the refining process make the sugar any harmful to health?
Sugar refining is basically a natural process of crystallisation and does not involve any chemical synthesis or molecular modification. Sucrose as it stands is a natural sweetener and has high calorific value.
Q. We hear of industrial and domestic sugar, what is the difference?
The basic difference is the addition of vitamin A as a food supplement to the refined sugar. This is a UNICEF requirement that is approved by SON in Nigeria. The industrial sugar is not fortified with vitamin A, while on the other hand, domestic sugar is fortified. We have the capacity to produce both grades of sugar.
Q. How does one assess the quality of sugar?
The basic quality indices of refined sugar are sugar colour (Clear white and crystalline sugar grains), ash content, level of Vitamin A fortification (Domestic consumption), grain size, among others. Essentially the colour tells one the level of purity which in Nigeria should be less than 45 icumsa.
Q. What is our competitive advantage in terms of product safety?
Our competitive advantage in terms of product safety is mainly in the area of plant hygiene and good manufacturing practices. We use world class best practices as our benchmarks and this has given us outstanding results. Our chemical treatment of raw melt is within FDA approved limits.
Q. What is our competitive advantage in terms of product quality?
Our competitive advantage in terms of product quality is in the area of good colour performance of the Refinery. We have consistently tracked less than 35 icumsa which is an indication of high efficiency of colour removal without secondary colour removal techniques. This makes the final product as close to natural as possible! Our vitamin A fortification has been proven to comply with SON specifications.