Frank O'Kelly Written by Frank O'Kelly

Specialist sugars and their applications

In the UK, sugar usually means the white granules derived from sugar beet. But there is a wide range of specialist sugars used in the products we consume every day.

 

Sugar is sourced from natural sugar cane and beet. In both cases the raw material goes through a refining process involving cutting, cleaning, juice extraction, centrifugal spinning and boiling, with sugar cane then going on to be passed through the centrifuge multiple times. This is to remove any impurities and to extract the sugar ready for processing.

The process for refining both beet and Cane can be adjusted in various ways, such as changing temperature levels or the number of passes through the centrifuge. These changes lead to the different types of sugar crystals, which in turn can be used to produce golden syrups, invert sugars and custom formulations.

We offer a range of sugar variations and can create custom formulations for use in a wide variety of applications. We manufacture sugar to fit your product requirements, such as making soft drinks, liquorice or cereal.

 

What is treacle and molasses used for?

 

Molasses is collected during the Cane refining process. It has a dark colour, with a very strong flavour profile and, as it has a thick viscosity, is perfect for savoury sauces and liquorice.

Molasses can be blended with invert syrups to form treacle, which is made up of different percentages of molasses and invert sugar syrup. Treacle gives a softer, rounder flavour compared to the almost bittersweet molasses. With a colour range of black through to a dark brown, treacle is often used in cooking sauces and rich fruit cakes and can also be used as a natural food colourant.

 

What is the difference between golden syrup and inverts?

 

Both golden syrup and invert sugars contain fructose-glucose, but that is where the similarities end. Golden syrup also contains sucrose, giving it a very sweet and light flavour and a golden colour.

Inverts are flavourless and colourless and are often used in the baking industry, usually to extend the shelf life of bread. Golden syrup, however, is used in products such as flapjacks as it binds the product together and enhances flavour.

When looking for a sugar with a high viscosity to stabilise a product, such as the chewiness of a soft mint, glucose syrup is a practical option. Unlike invert and golden, it is produced by breaking down maize or wheat and, although it is less sweet than invert, can be used as a sweet bulking agent.

 

 

What is blended and sieved sugar?

 

Blended sugar is granulated in form and is white sugar premixed with molasses and burnt sugar in order to give it a golden-brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour often needed for products such as biscuits and cereals.

Sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry, as it provides you with different particle sizes from coarse to very fine powder. Think of the contrast between particle size of golden caster sugar, which is more like a powder, and Demerara sugar.

 

Something more specialised – custom formulations

 

Blended sugar is granulated in form and is made up of white sugar premixed with molasses to give a light to dark brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour in the industrial production of biscuits and cereals.

Due to their ability to provide sizes ranging from coarse to very fine powder, sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry. We sieve, metal detect and bag the sugar in our UK factory to ensure premium quality.

For more information on our range visit our product finder, or if your application requires a custom formulation, contact us for a consultation.