It is difficult to find a product as familiar and indispensable as sugar. It refers to essential products, the demand for which always remains at a consistently high level. Sugar consists of almost pure sucrose with a small amount of other substances and moisture. On sale there are two main types of this product - ordinary granulated sugar and refined sugar. The latter differs from ordinary sugar in a higher degree of purification and is available in the form of sand or powder, as well as in pressed form. The production of refined sugar requires relatively small investments and does not differ in complexity, therefore it is of great interest to entrepreneurs who are just planning to start a business.Types of sugar
So, for the most part, sugar consists of sucrose, which has a pleasant sweetish taste and is easily digested, breaking down under the action of enzymes on glucose and fructose. Sugar beets (45% of the total production) and sugarcane, which grows in areas with tropical and subtropical climates, are used as raw materials for sugar production. In addition, sugar can be produced from other sugar-bearing plants (for example, corn, sorghum, etc.). Cane sugar is imported into our country in the form of raw sugar, which is then processed into marketable white sugar. But most Russian enterprises use sugar beets to produce sugar. About 7-8 million tons of sugar from sugar beets and not more than 2.5 million tons of sugar from raw sugar are produced annually in Russia. At the same time, sugar consumption per person is 42 kg per year (with a norm of 36.5 kg), therefore the market for this product is quite wide. The assortment of most Russian companies involved in sugar production includes:
- fine crystalline granulated sugar of white color, which has a characteristic luster and sugary sweet taste;
- refined sugar, which is obtained by additional purification (refining) of sugar syrup or recrystallization, including the adsorption of impurities of ordinary granulated sugar.
Refined sugar crystals, unlike ordinary granulated sugar, have shiny planes, pronounced faces and a whiter color (a bluish tint is also allowed). By the size of the crystals, sugar is divided into small (from 0.2 to 0.8 mm), medium (from 0.5 to 1.2), large (from 1 to 2.5 mm) and especially large (from 2 to 4 mm )
In turn, refined sugar is available in several forms. The pressed crushed and diced pressed product is obtained by pressing granulated sugar into bars, which are dried and laid into separate pieces in the form of a parallelepiped of 5.5, 7.5 or 15 g with a piece thickness of 11 and 22 mm, as well as 4.8 g cubes
Pressed crushed refined sugar with cast properties is produced by pressing under high pressure granulated sugar crystals with high humidity (about 3-3.5%). As a result of this operation, pieces in the form of a parallelepiped of the same mass as sugar of the first kind are obtained. The so-called road refined product (pressed in small packaging) is produced in separate pieces up to 7.5 g or doubled 15 g each, which are packed in cardboard boxes. Cast refined sugar is distinguished from other types by its special strength. It is produced in the form of pieces of irregular shape weighing from 5 to 60 g. True, recently this type of sugar is practically not produced due to the complexity of the process of its manufacture. Finally, pressed instant refined sugar is produced by pressing granulated sugar into individual pieces of the correct form of 5.5 and 5.9 g, which are then placed in cardboard boxes. Unlike other types of refined sugar, this sugar dissolves quickly in water. Refined powder consists of crushed sugar crystals up to five millimeters in size. For its manufacture, crumbs with crystals weighing less than five grams are used, which is formed during the production of other types of refined products.Technology for the production of granulated sugar and refined sugar
Cane and beet sugar are used as raw materials for the manufacture of refined sugar. Products from raw materials of the first and second kind practically do not differ from each other in taste. But due to the fact that the wholesale price of beet sugar is lower than the cost of cane raw materials, the majority of producers prefer the former. Since any raw material (including sand sugar and raw cane sugar) contains a certain amount of coloring substances, ash elements and other non-sugars, it is painted in a yellowish color and has a specific aftertaste and smell. The final product - refined sugar - must meet certain requirements. First of all, it should have a white color without impurities and stains (although a bluish tint is allowed), a sweet taste without extraneous taste and smell. The aqueous refined solution should be completely transparent. Therefore, the main task of the refining process is to separate sucrose from non-sugars by repeatedly crystallizing it. Specialists distinguish two groups of products in the production of sugar: refined (2-3 steps) and grocery (3-4 steps). At the first two or three stages of processing the raw materials, the actual refined sugar is obtained, and at the subsequent stages, multiple crystallization is carried out with the previous mechanical and adsorption purification of syrups. Moreover, each technological operation is carried out in several cycles. As a result of all these operations, sucrose of the initial granulated sugar is converted to refined sugar, and nesugar, which retain a small part of sucrose (only 0.6-0.9% of the total mass of granulated sugar), is concentrated in refined molasses. The number of stages of production of refined sugar depends on the type of product. The technology for the production of sugar, from which refined sugar is then made, involves the following operations: feeding, washing and grinding beets, extracting juice from beets, cleaning and evaporating beet juice, boiling syrup and sugar crystallization, separating crystals from molasses, whitewashing, drying, packaging . First, the beets are cleaned of water and debris in water, cut into thin chips. Long chips are placed in cylindrical vessels, where hot water enters, dissolving and extracting sugar contained in beet juice (the so-called diffusion). The juice obtained as a result of diffusion does not differ in transparency. Rather, this liquid has an unattractive brownish color. To clean it, the juice is heated and mixed with lime. Under its influence, foreign impurities are precipitated or destroyed. The remains of the lime itself are removed from the juice by carbon dioxide, under the influence of which it settles to the bottom of the tank. Juice is sent to a filter press, where after cleaning it acquires a light (but still yellowish) tint. At the last stage of purification, the juice is treated with sulfur dioxide, which brightens it even more. To obtain granulated sugar, moisture from the purified juice is evaporated, and the resulting syrup is passed through a centrifuge, where the liquid component (molasses) is separated from the sugar crystals. A small amount of moisture still remains in these crystals, so they are dried by heating. After cooling, granulated sugar is cooled, sorted by crystal size and packaged. The obtained granulated sugar is sent for sale or for processing to refined sugar. The sugar yield from sugar beet processing is 12-16%.
The process of manufacturing pressed refineries includes the following stages: weighing and sifting granulated sugar, preparation of refined syrup and clerks (a syrup made from the best quality granulated sugar and refined sugar waste), removal of mechanical impurities from the syrup, adsorption cleaning of the syrup, syrup thickening to form crystals, crystallization, centrifugation and bleaching, preparation of refined porridge crystals (refined crystals with claire film), pressing of refined porridge, drying of br Kets, packaging sugar.
First, granulated sugar, which is supplied to the production in its raw form, is sifted to remove impurities (fibers from burlap, pieces of rope, sticks, etc.). Then the sifted sand is weighed on an automatic scale and sent to the site where syrup and clerks are prepared. Refined syrup with a dry matter concentration of 73% is made from ordinary granulated sugar, and klers is made from refined waste and granulated sugar of higher quality. All ingredients are mixed and heated to a temperature of 75 ° C. After this, the syrups are filtered to remove mechanical impurities, and then undergo adsorption purification to discolor and free from mineral impurities. For several years, the technology has practically not changed. Powdered charcoal, granular bone and activated carbons (most often), ion-exchange resins are used as adsorbents. The syrup is poured into a special apparatus called an adsorber, where it is processed in a batch or continuous way. In the latter case, the productivity of the equipment and the adsorption capacity of the coal used will be higher. In addition, activated carbons are used to bleach refined syrups, which are obtained by charring hardwood without air. A combination method for treating syrups with carborafine is also known. In this case, an aqueous suspension of coal is added to the syrup heated to a temperature of 80-85 ° C, then the mixture is filtered through filters, on the surface of which a layer of carborafine (activated carbon) is applied. The effectiveness of this processing method is higher than others, since the syrup interacts with the adsorbent twice during the entire processing cycle - in the mixers and during filtration. Finally, ion-exchange resins — organic substances obtained by artificial means — can be used to bleach syrups. In this case, the syrup is purified in ion-exchange plants, which consist of a reactor and auxiliary equipment.
After bleaching, the syrup is sent to thicken. This procedure is carried out using a vacuum apparatus. The technology for cooking massecuite from refined syrup differs from the cooking of beet sugar massecuite except for the duration - cooking the latter takes much longer. In addition, when boiling the reflux massecuite, ultramarine mineral paint is added to it.
After cooking, massecuite is sent to crystallizer mixers, where it crystallizes and thickens even more, so it is diluted with purified syrup. Sugar crystals are separated from the massecuite in centrifuges of cyclic and continuous action. Since the raw material initially has a yellowish tint, future sugar in a centrifuge is whitened using a clerks, to which a suspension of ultramarine is added. The result is a refined porridge consisting of crystals with a film of claire. Klers keeps the porridge moisture, therefore, to produce strong sugar, the moisture content of which should be high, the maximum quantity of klers is preserved in the "semi-finished product", which literally cementes sugar single crystals when dried.
The crystals in the gruel are unevenly distributed, so it must be mixed on a conveyor belt under centrifuges, transported with an elevator and sieved through a sieve.
In the production of lump sugar, the refined porridge is pressed under a carousel-type press with molds. The resulting briquettes are split into separate pieces of the correct shape and the required mass. Pressed sugar is sent for drying in tunnel dryers for 8-10 hours.
The cast method for the production of refined sugar is more complex and therefore expensive (for these reasons it is very rarely used in modern factories). In this case, the sugar mass is first poured into special forms, and after hardening, molasses is removed from it, for which the mass is poured with a solution of refined sugar. This operation is carried out at least 3-4 times, after which the frozen sugar mass is removed from the mold and cut into pieces.
Depending on the type of sugar, the finished product is packaged in various containers. Its main purpose is to protect sugar from dampness and pollution during transportation and during storage in warehouses. Granulated sugar is usually packed in cloth, paper or plastic bags. Refined sugar and refined granulated sugar are packaged in cardboard boxes, paper and plastic bags, corrugated cardboard boxes. Powdered sugar is packed in plastic bags, which can then be put into cardboard boxes. The finished product is stored in warehouses with an air humidity of not more than 70% (when it comes to sugar) and not more than 80% (in the case of refined sugar).
The cost of new European equipment for sugar production ranges from 90, 000 euros (capacity 20 tons per day) to 2, 700, 000 euros (capacity 100 tons per day). A mini-plant for the processing of sugar beets (productivity 12 tons per day) will cost in the basic configuration in the amount of $ 18-20 thousand. The payback period of a small enterprise is from 1.5 years.
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