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Always Good, Always Sweet

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Always Good, Always Sweet

image descriptionManufacturing Process

Manufacturing

Local Cane Factory

Once cut, the cane is delivered straight to the factory since after burning off and cutting the sugar content deteriorates very rapidly. At the factory :

  • The cane is cut into small pieces and shredded.
  • It is crushed between heavy rollers to dewater the fibre.
  • Juice is extracted in a perculation process with water in the diffuser.
  • Lime is added to clean the resulting juice.
  • The brown liquid is clarified to remove fibre particles and other impurities.
  • Then the juice is boiled under vacuum to form a thick syrup.
  • The syrup is then seeded to grow sugar crystals.
  • The crystals (raw sugar) and syrup (molasses) are separated in a centrifuge (like a giant spin dryer).
  • Brown raw sugar crystals are produced containing up to 4% of raw sugar impurities.

By-Products

The by-products from the sugar production process, namely bagasse or cane fibre and molasses do not go to waste, but are utilised for a number of purposes. The bagasse is used in boilers of the power stations at the mills to generate electricity. Bagasse is also the basic ingredient of a range of fibre boards.

RCL Foods Sugar and Milling (Pty) Ltd − Sugar Animal Feed division, MOLATEK, uses a combination of bagasse, molasses and other ingredients to produce a full range of animal feeds at MOLATEK's Malelane factory.

The other by-product, cane molasses, is also converted into rum and baker's yeast as well as into animal feed and industrial potable alcohol.