As we continue to discuss the levels of sugar in our diet, there’s no escaping the importance of sugar as a high-value commodity. Performing an essential role in feeding the world, more than 170 million tonnes of sugar is produced per year, of which 60-70 percent comes from sugar cane.
Another increasingly relevant topic, both from inside and outside the industry, is the sustainability foot print of cane sugar production. Making effective use of bagasse for by-product electricity production and minimising run-off of water in the process is increasingly important. Above all, the quest to get as much sucrose as possible from the whole process is top of mind for producers.
Reliable analytical data has proven significant in addressing such challenges. Today, the recent development of fast and easy to use analytical instruments presents a range of options for cane sugar producers. Among the possibilities, near infrared (NIR) analysis is a powerful tool for monitoring the quality of incoming cane as well as minimising the loss of sucrose throughout the production process. Variations in key parameters such as Pol, Brix, Reducing Sugars and Moisture can be constantly monitored against targets allowing for more efficient and sustainable production. In short, the opportunities for efficiency and profit improvement are numerous throughout the cane sugar production process.