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Sugar production

From beet to crystal

The sugar beets we use in our production are cultivated in the immediate vicinity of our sugar factories. Nordzucker cooperates closely with the beet growers with a view to ensuring high quality and safe, sustainable cultivation. Read more here.

Once the growers have harvested the beets, they are delivered to our sugar factories where sugar is extracted. Beets are washed, cut and poured into hot water. Hot water opens up the beet cells that contain the sugar, and the sugar flows into the water. The process creates a sugar juice, which we clean of non-sugar substances by first adding slaked lime and then carbon dioxide. Finally, we filter off the precipitated lime (chalk). The sugar factory produces its own slaked lime and carbon dioxide by burning limestone.

Next, we boil the cleaned sugar juice in large vats, allowing it to evaporate to reach a high sugar concentration. We add a small amount of icing sugar to make sugar crystallise from the juice. The sugar crystals are immersed in the juice from which they crystallised. We pour the substance into a centrifugal separator, in which a sieve retains the crystals while the juice is flung from the crystals. The result is the white granulated sugar we know. Once it dries, it is ready for spicing up consumers’ everyday life.

Get an insight into our sugar production here