Pure sugars for cider

Select the right pure sugar product for your cider

Sugar is both an essential and added value component of cider making. It occurs naturally in apples – with the sugar content varying depending on the crop – and pure sugars and syrups are used during production for fermenting and priming, as well as to develop the unique taste and colour of various cider styles.

So, cider making would not be possible or commercially viable without sugar. But which pure sugar products perform best in cider making?

Liquid sugar


Liquid sugar is a highly efficient water-based sucrose solution that is particularly suited to commercial manufacture.

Key cider making benefits:
• Performs exceptionally in fermenting and priming functions because it has 67% sucrose content and is in liquid form with low viscosity, meaning it delivers consistent and reproducible results.
• Highly suited to commercial applications as its liquid structure enables it to streamline large-scale production processes while saving on heat, energy and labour costs.
• When liquid sugar is used as a priming adjunct, the variable sugar content in apples – dependent on crop variety, ripeness etc. – is more stable and gives a more pleasant mouthfeel.
• Liquid sugar is available in different forms such as organic liquid sugar or raw cane liquid sugar – both these variations offer cider makers the opportunity to differentiate their brand from competitors.

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Partial invert sugar syrup


Partial invert sugar syrup is an innovative and unique pure sugar product with a high sweetness value and low viscosity, produced by breaking down sucrose into glucose and fructose.

Key cider making benefits:
• Performs exceptionally during fermentation and, in particular, priming because the sucrose has been broken down into glucose and fructose.
• During fermentation, the yeast can feed off partial invert’s individual sugar constituents – glucose and fructose – separately and can therefore ferment more effectively. In other words, the sugar is readily fermentable.
• Particularly suited to priming functions as it provides the product with a much-needed boost. Without this capability, some ciders served on-premises may go flat or the flavour turn dull.
• Its structural makeup can also help prevent the yeast from overfermenting in bottles because manufacturers know the exact level of each sugar constituent, offering more stability and control during production.
• Partial invert enhances the fruit flavours in ciders as the sucrose has been broken down into glucose and fructose, with the latter being a natural flavour attractant.

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Glucose syrup


Glucose syrup is a sweetener syrup made from the hydrolysis of wheat or maize with a high sweetness value and, in some variations, low viscosity.

Key cider making benefits:
• High dextrose equivalent (DE) glucose syrups perform well in carbonated ciders due to low viscosity and high dextrose properties.
• High glucose content acts as a sweetener, which supports apple juice blends with low natural sugar content.
• Well suited to commercial manufacture because it has a neutral flavour and colour, meaning product development can be modified to suit the manufacturer’s requirements.

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Cider makers are, however, advised that glucose syrup is currently in short supply in the UK market. You can read this blog to find out more information about the glucose syrup deficit.


Other options available

Artisanal cider makers may prefer to use different pure sugars and syrups for fermenting and priming. For example, a crystalline sugar such as raw cane sugar may be more suited to their production process. Others may also require pure sugar products for colour development, such as cane molasses.

Cider makers are therefore advised to contact Ragus directly so that we can consult on the ideal pure sugar formulation for their unique product specification and production process.

Pure Sugar expertise for cider makers

Ragus was founded in 1928 with the purpose of manufacturing specialist sugars for the bakery, confectionery and brewing industries. To learn more about our services, or to arrange a sample of one of our pure sugar products, contact a member of our customer services team on +44 (0)1753 215424 or enquiries@ragus.co.uk.