EU Sugar Beet Production – What does the future hold?

Jan 09 2019

The EU is the world’s leading producer of sugar beet, with approximately 50% of the global production; almost 18 million tonnes of beet sugar are produced every year in the Union. The sugar beet industry plays a critical part in the European rural and agricultural economy, but recently sugar beet producers have been suffering from low market prices and a series of changes in the sector.

The International Sugar Organisation has recently forecast the EU will produce 17.9-million tons of sugar in the 2018/2019 season, down from 19.7-million in the previous season. The intergovernmental body has not yet released a forecast for 2019/2020.

In October 2017, the EU scrapped sugar beet production quotas allowing producers to grow as much beet as they wanted for the first time since 2006, which lead to an increase in output. However, this current global glut of sugar has pushed world sugar prices to their lowest in more than ten years, throwing the European sector into crisis.

Beet sugar being grown; Ragus supports all its farmers and producers with advice and support on how to optimiseefficiencies, and promote the cause of sustainable sugar production
 
Thus today, the sugar beet sector is far from healthy. As the International federation of European Beet Growers explains, “the end of sugar beet quotas, combined with a depressed world market, have generated prices that are at their lowest level since the establishment of the European Commission Price Reporting System almost twelve years ago.”

The European commission has further said it expected total sugar consumption in the EU will reduce by five percent by 2030. Contributing factors to the decline include the ban of certain pesticides, the fact that Europeans are reducing their direct sugar intake, the global surplus of sugar stocks and environmental and unpredictable weather conditions.

Sugar lobbyist Ribera said it is “very difficult to predict” what will happen in coming years, but as the outlook for the European sugar sector is not particularly pleasing at the moment, measures need to be taken by farmers, processors and other major stakeholders to ensure the EU sugar beet industry can continue competing in the global market.

Beet sugar being grown; Ragus supports all its farmers and producers with advice and support on how to optimiseefficiencies, and promote the cause of sustainable sugar production
 
The European Parliament needs to take many factors into consideration to maintain sustainable beet growing amongst the EU Member States. These could include offering realistic subsidiaries to sugar beet farmers to ensure income stability, unfair trading practices need to be banned, financial support and time for researching new ways to protect crops, in light of the ban on certain pesticides, and to limit the amount of subsidised sugar other countries are dumping on the world market.

All this said though there will always be a demand for sugar beet as man’s demand for sweet foods is universal, and whatever people’s views are about sugar, it is still a vital ingredient in the food and drink industries. Sugar is not just a sweetener, it adds bulk, texture, and preserving qualities to many food products, such as jams, cakes, confectionery, and biscuits, which is impossible using artificial sweeteners.

Ragus Facts:
Ragus’ scour the globe for the best and most sustainable sources of beet and pure cane sugar for the manufacturing a wide range of sugars products. Our raw materials are soured from certified suppliers. Our Cane sugar comes from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and our Beet sugar from within the European Union.

No responses yet

How Caramel is Made – Caramel as a Sweet Confectionery [Part 2 of 2]

Jan 03 2019

Most people’s preconception of caramel is the little sweet, brown, slightly chewy, soft cubes of deliciousness that melt in your mouth when eaten, however caramel can also be used in chocolate or candy bars or as a topping for popcorn!

Caramel dates back to the 7th century and is one of the oldest confectioneries; sugar cane was discovered by the Arabs in Persia and on heating the cane they obtained a dark brown liquid which they called ‘Kurat Al Milh’ (ball of sugar) and the name ‘caramel’ derived from this!

Chefs, entrepreneurs and food manufacturers are coming up with new ways to incorporate caramel in their recipes because of its unique characteristics; from its appetising appearance and its tantalising aroma to its delicious smooth and sensual flavour, caramel and salted caramel flavours have become one of the most recent food trends.

Caramel as a Confectionery
To create a caramel as a type of confectionery, the amount of butter, type of milk and type of sugar can create differences in flavour, while varying cooking temperatures can affect the firmness; thus, creating caramels with various tastes, textures and appearances.

To create a variety of textures, caramel manufacturers use two different terms to categorise the product; ‘short’ is used for caramels that are soft and moist, and ‘long’, for a caramel that is chewy with a firmer consistency.

Unlike other candies, caramel is cooked at a lower temperature and as they contain more moisture they are softer; thus because of its texture caramel can be moulded and added to other ingredients (i.e. chocolate bars), or it can act as a binding agent or to add flavour and texture to products.

Pure sugar produced by Ragus. Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugarmanufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the brewing, baking, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

How is Caramel for Confectionery Made?
The ingredients for making caramel is sugar, invert/glucose syrup, milk (or cream) and butter, all of which are added together and cooked at 245°F. The brown colour is a result of the reaction between the protein in the cream/milk and the sugar; this process is called the Maillard reaction, which is named after the French scientist who discovered it.

The Maillard reaction occurs when part of the sugar molecule reacts with the nitrogen part of the protein molecule; this leads to the brown colour and the flavour compounds. If the mixture is cooked even further up to 338° F, it essentially become toffee, also known as caramelisation.

Pure sugar produced by Ragus. Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugarmanufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the brewing, baking, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries
 
Ragus’s Key Ingredients for Caramel Confectionery
Ragus supplies invert/glucose syrups and brown sugars as ingredients to food and drink industries that can be used in the production of caramel as a confectionery.

Ragus’ Soft Brown Light Sugar or Dark Soft Brown Sugar is the perfect product for making your caramel and toffee creations, not only do they add colour, their finer grain size rapidly dissolves for sauce and toffee preparations and the molasses content adds flavour.

Ragus’ Invert sugars are used not only as a humectant to retain and preserve the moisture and as a flavour attractant, but they also have a high sweetness value.

To see our extensive range of pure sugars and syrups and to order your ingredients, check out our new online tool, our Product Finder, where you can filter through 50 different products: http://ragus.co.uk/product-finder/

If you fancy making your own salted caramel, then Ragus has the perfect recipe using our very own golden syrup and Soft Brown Light Sugar.

RAGUS’ SALTED CARAMEL

YOU WILL NEED
30g Unsalted Butter

100g Ragus Soft Brown Light Sugar

50g Ragus Golden Syrup

150ml Double Cream

Pinch of Sea Salt

METHOD
1. Melt butter, Ragus Soft Brown Light Sugar and Ragus Golden Syrup in a small heavy based pan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.

2. Add cream and a pinch of sea salt and simmer for 2 mins until thickened and smooth. Cool slightly, taste the sauce, add any extra salt.

Serve warm with ice cream and enjoy!

Pure sugar produced by Ragus. Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugarmanufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the brewing, baking, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

Ragus Fun Facts:

We’re specialists in high quality natural pure sugars and pure syrups, from raw cane sugar to specialist glucose-sugar blends.

No responses yet