Treatment of raw sugar crystals to remove the outer layer of molasses. Sugar manufacturers mix sugar crystals with concentrated syrup and then send the mixture of liquid and crystals through a centrifuge to separate them. Sugar that has been through the affination process is called affinated sugar.


Sticking together of two or more sugar crystals as they go through the centrifuge and the drying process.

Ash content

Solid residue remaining after burning a sugar sample in the presence of oxygen. Carbonated ash is the residue remaining after burning a sample at 650 'C. Sulphated ash is the residue remaining after burning a sample pre-treated with sulphuric acid at 650 'C. Sometimes determined indirectly by measuring electrical conductivity of the product in solution (see conductivity ash).


Ratio of the mass of dissolved sugar to the mass of water in sugar liquor or syrup. Measured using a refractometer, and also called refractometric dry solids. For solutions that contain only sugar and water, brix is equal to the percentage of sugar by mass. For example, 50 degrees brix sugar solution contains 50% sugar by mass.


A heating element, either tubular or plate, in a vacuum pan or evaporator vessel.


A clarification process that involves adding lime and carbon dioxide gas to sugar juice or syrup to remove color and non-sugar solids.

Carbonatation gas

Gas high in carbon dioxide used in the carbonatation process.


Machine that separates sugar crystals from mother liquor by spinning


Apparatus used in the clarification process, where sugar crystals form in the juice.

Conductivity Ash

Estimate of ash content by measuring the conductivity of the solution.


Two or more crystals that grow together during pan boiling.

Cooling Crystallization

Crystallization by cooling the massecuite.

Critical Supersaturation

Supersaturation point at which nucleation spontaneously starts.

Crystal Content

Proportion by mass of crystals in massecuite, often expressed as a percentage, and referred to as total massecuite mass or massecuite dry substance (Brix).


Process of growing crystals by boiling them with syrup. The crystallization process occurs in two major parts: nucleation and crystal growth.

Crystallization scheme

The design of the number and arrangement of crystallization stages used to produce sugar.

Cut a Pan

To remove part of the massecuite from a pan, retaining a base on which to feed more syrup or molasses for crystallization.

Dissolved solids

All material in dissolved in liquid. Includes sucrose, monosaccharides, ash, and other organic impurities.

Drop a Pan or Strike a Pan

To remove all of the massecuite from a pan.

Dry Substance

A measure of total solids obtained by vacuum evaporating a solution or massecuite until dry. Also called total solids by drying or dry solids.

Evaporator Effect

One of a system of evaporators operating in series as a multiple effect system (that is, first effect, second effect, etc.).


For massecuite, the grams of sucrose in crystalline form in each 100g of sucrose.

Extraneous Matter

All material that is not sugar cane delivered with the sugar cane, including leaves and tops, mud, soil, roots, rocks, stones, and tramp iron.

False Grain

Undesirable small crystals that form spontaneously when supersaturation during crystallization is too high.

Filter Cake

Material removed by the filter screens and discharged from the filters after filtering clarifier muds.


Liquid passed through the screens of the filters.


Polyelectrolyte in solution added to juice to help with the clarification process.


Some massecuite kept in or transferred to a pan at the start of a massecuite boiling.

Golden Caster Sugar

A light, unrefined, superfine sugar with a subtle buttery taste.

Golden Syrup

An amber-colored syrup made from evaporated sugar cane juice as a by-product of the process of producing refined sugar.


International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis - organization that helps develop analytical methods for the sugar industry.


Highest quality refined Brazilian sugar.


The conversion of sucrose (using hydrolysis) into glucose and fructose.

Invert sugar

Mixture of approximately equal parts of glucose and fructose (monosaccharides) resulting from the hydrolysis of sucrose (inversion).

Inverted Sugar Syrup

A sucrose-based syrup created using the enzyme invertase and/or an acid. Mostly used in commercial food production.


The addition of milk of lime or lime saccharate solution to the sugar juice.

Liquid Sugar

Refined sugar products in liquid form.


The sugar syrup passing through the sugar refining process.


Mixture of sugar crystals and liquid (water, clarified juice, syrup, or molasses).


The mixture of crystals and mother liquor that comes out of the crystallization process.

Massecuite Mixer

Apparatus that sends massecuite to the centrifuges.


Equipment that dissolves sugar.


Another term for dissolving of sugar crystals.


A thick syrup produced as a by-product of refining sugar. Molasses is the liquor that is left after the sugar crystals are separated from the mother liquor.

Mother Liquor

Syrup or liquid in which the crystals grow.


Any dissolved solids that are not sucrose.


Any dissolved solids that are not sugar.


The first step in the crystallization process where the molecules start to form clusters. When these clusters are stable (not all are), they are the nuclei around which the sugar crystals grow.

Pan or Vacuum Pan

Vacuum evaporative crystallizer used to crystallize sugar from liquor, syrup, or molasses.


Clarification process that uses phosphoric acid and lime to remove nonsugars from the sugar syrup.

Polarization (or pol)

Measurement of sucrose content in sugar. A measurement of 99 pol represents 99% sucrose.


The true purity is the sucrose content as a percentage of the dry substance or dissolved solids content. Apparent purity is polarization divided by refractometer brix, multiplied by 100.

Raw Juice

Juice extracted directly from sugar cane or sugar beets. Also called mixed juice (from mills) or draft juice (from diffusers).

Raw Sugar

Brown sugar produced in a raw sugar mill that generally goes to a refinery for further processing into white refined sugar.

Reducing Sugars

Sugars that can chemically reduce (withdraw oxygen from) certain other chemical compounds. In sugar milling and refining, reducing sugars (mostly glucose and fructose) are considered impurities.


Purification of sugar using chemical and physical methods, generally including clarification, filtration, decolorization and recrystallization.

Refractometric Dry Solids (RDS)

Measurement of total dissolved solids in a sugar liquor or syrup using a refractometer.


A syrup made from centrifuged low-grade sugar that is dissolved or remelted and returned to the high grade boilings.


General term for syrups or molasses produced when massecuite goes through a centifuge.

Safety Factor

A number that indicates how well fresh raw sugar that has a pol of less than 99% stays fresh. Calculated using pol and moisture content.


A state in a sugar solution where no more crystals will dissolve at the temperature of the solution.


Suspension of fine sugar crystals in saturated solution of alcohol, or the initial grain that results from seeding in a vacuum pan.


Adding sugar crystal fragments or introducing fine crystal to stimulate nucleation that initiates the crystallization process. Sometimes called graining.

Solubility Coefficient

Ratio of solubility of sucrose in impure saturated solution to the concentration in a pure sucrose solution saturated at the same temperature (both expressed as g sucrose/g water). Called saturation coefficient in the beet sugar industry.


The act of removing the massecuite from the boiling pan.


White refined sugar from sugar cane and beets. The chemical compound C12H22O11. Sucrose is a combination of the two simple sugars glucose and fructose.


Introduction of sulfur dioxide into juice or liquor.

Superfine Sugar

Finely ground granulated sugar used in baking. Called castor sugar in the U.K.SupersaturationAn unstable state in which a solution contains more sucrose than normally possible, causing the sugar to begin to crystallize.

Supersaturation Coefficient

Ratio that compares the amount of sucrose present in a sample with the potential solubility of sucrose in the sample under constant conditions. Calculated by dividing the sugar/water ratio of the supersaturated solution by the sugar/water ratio of a saturated solution under the same conditions. If the ratio is less than 1, the solution is unsaturated; if the ratio equals 1, the solution is, saturated; or if the ratio is greater than 1, the solution is supersaturated.

Suspended Solids

Insoluble solids in juice or other liquid that can be removed by mechanical means.

Sweet Water

Water containing a small amount of sugar.


The concentrated juice from the evaporators that has a brix between 60 and 70 percent.

Target purity

Equilibrium purity of final molasses, derived from a formula that takes into account the effect of nonsucrose on its exhaustibility. Sometimes called expected molasses purity.


Cane tops, leaves, dead stalks of cane, and any other vegetable matter that's mixed in with the raw sugar cane.


The British term for dark molasses.


The liquor removed after washing, and the liquor removed from magma.