Setting the standard which other types of sugar are measured against, ICUMSA 45 sugar is the world’s leading consumer sugar. A highly refined sugar product, it is easily recognizable by its distinctive sparkling white color and pure sucrose taste. ICUMSA 45 is perpetually in high demand as it is the safest form of sugar, due to the fact that the refining process by which it is created removes the bacteria and contaminants often present in raw sugars which can pose a threat to human health.
But what does ‘ICUMSA 45′ actually mean? ICUMSA is an acronym for the International Commission For Uniform Methods Of Sugar Analysis, an international regulatory body which sets the standard for sugar analysis tests thereby creating a system which can be used anywhere on the globe to accurately and quickly describe the properties of sugar. This is an essential system due to the fact that the sugar trade is a global one, and often buyers and sellers will be operating in completely different parts of the world, not to mention sometimes contending with a language barrier which can complicate negotiations. The ICUMSA ratings method allows a meaningful and accurate description of the product which can be easily understood by interested parties no matter where they come from.
ICUMSA ratings are based on a test which determines the precise color of the sugar and communicates this in a numerical reading. This test works because the color of sugar is directly related to how much refining it has undergone. Raw sugar is very dark in color, whereas highly refined sugar is the familiar sparkling white color most often associated with sugar.
The ICUMSA test is carried out with an instrument called a tristimulus colorimeter. This is a machine that fires various wavelengths of light at the sugar sample, and detects which were absorbed by the sugar sample, and which were reflected back. Dark colors absorb a great deal of light, whereas light colors absorb very little. For this reason the colorimeter returns a low result of ICUMSA 45 when analyzing highly refined sugar, and a higher ratings of ICUMSA 1000 or more when analyzing more raw sugars.
ICUMSA 45 Manufacturing
ICUMSA 45 is refined from sugar cane or sugar beet. One often sees suppliers declaring that sugar is made from either sugar cane or sugar beet specifically, but practically speaking there is no real difference between sugar made from either source. In fact, the only way to tell whether ICUMSA 45 sugar has been refined from sugar beet or sugar cane is to subject it to a series of tests which are, for the most part, completely unnecessary.
Of course, the methods used for extracting the sucrose from the source material differ between sugar beet and sugar cane. In the case of sugar cane, the cane is crushed through rollers, and the sucrose rich juice which seeps out of it is taken away for refining. In the case of sugar beet, the beets are thinly sliced and placed into a hot water diffuser which leeches the sucrose from the beet flesh.
In both sugar cane processing and sugar beet processing, the result of the initial stage of processing is a raw juice rich in sugar but also loaded with contaminants and colorants. Because sugar from sugar cane is more common, we will focus on this type of sugar refining.
From the raw juice, raw sugar is extracted by one of several methods. In some cases the liquid may simply be evaporated off, or in others the sugar juice may be boiled, crystallized, and sent into a centrifugal chamber to create VHP raw sugar.
The first step in removing the contaminants in raw sugar is mixing the raw sugar with a high sugar syrup to create what is called ‘magma’. This magma is then put into a centrifugal chamber where it is spun at high speed, driving off the liquid content and leaving light brown sugar crystals behind. This stage is often unnecessary if the refinery is working with VHP raw sugar.
To create a high quality ICUMSA 45 product however, more refining is necessary. In the next stage of the refining process, the sugar crystals are removed from the centrifugal chamber, washed, and dissolved into a liquid solution that is roughly half sugar and half liquid. To this solution milk of lime is added. As the milk of lime travels through the solution it forms small deposits of calcium carbonate (chalk). These deposits leech color from the solution and also attract contaminants, locking them away within the chalk deposits. Because calcium carbonate is heavier than water, it sinks to the bottom and is subsequently removed. What is left is a high purity solution of sucrose and water.
This solution is then boiled to remove excess water and to encourage sugar crystal growth to occur. When the sugar crystals have grown, they are once more sent into a centrifugal chamber which drives the excess liquid off and leaves the final product, sparkling sweet ICUMSA 45 sugar.
Of course this is a fairly simplified description of the sugar refining process. There are various methods and means of creating ICUMSA 45 sugar, but by and large they are all variations on the process outlined above. The Russian method, for instance, skips the affination stage entirely, but is much more rigorous in the carbonization stage. Other refining methods involve the use of phosphorous instead of milk of lime, a process known as phosphation.
Regardless of the method used in its production, the qualities of ICUMSA 45 sugar are easily and accurately gaged by SGS testing according to ICUMSA guidelines.
ICUMSA 45 Warning
Whilst ICUMSA standards are international, they do vary slightly in Europe from the rest of the world. In Europe, raw sugar is sometimes referred to as ICUMSA 42. This may prove confusing for buyers, but the simplest way to ensure that you understand what kind of sugar is being offered is to ask the seller the rating of the sugar according to the Brazilian SGS standard, which classifies highly refined sugar as a low ICUMSA 45, and increases proportionately with the rawness of the sugar.
Brazilian Icumsa 45 for sale
We work directly with a Brazilian co-op which is in control of over 200 sugar mills. We also work with several big hedge funds who own Brazilian sugar allocation in large quantities at any given time. Whoever is able to give us the best offer is who we go with when a potential buy offer comes our way. Please contact us through this form below and let us know your specific requirements. We will get back to you within a few hours.