Sugar Talk Sugar Talk
The questions to ask when selecting the best sugar for your product
In this week’s blog, we discuss what to think about and ask when looking for the right sugar for your application.
At Ragus, we help at every stage of the sugar buying process, from choosing the best sugar product for your application, right through to consistently delivering on-time. The customer service team are always on hand to offer advice when looking to order the right sugar. To make that process easier, we have pooled together the below questions to help steer first-time sugar buyers in the right direction.
Sugar is a diverse product with a broad range of applications across sectors. It is used in pharmaceutical, confectionery, brewing and soft drink industries as well as a range of food industries including; cereal, baking, marinades, preserves and desserts. For such a broad range of sectors and markets, it is no wonder there are a variety of sugar products to choose from.
Ragus offer a range of sugar products within our three specialities which are; crystalline, syrup and custom formulations. Within each, there are a number of products which vary in texture, taste and application. That is why considering the sugar specification, along with answering questions around what it is going to be applied to, is vital to understanding what sugar is required for your application.
What role does the sugar play in the end product?
This is a fundamental question when looking at the different sugar product options. Sugar can serve an enormous variety of functions, ranging from acting as a bulking or sweetening agent, to expediting the fermentation process of beer. On top of this, sugar products can even be used for bee food and to add nutrients to animal feeds.
The enormous versatility of sugar makes knowing which product best serves your application even more crucial. For example, if sugar is being used to enhance flavour, we need to think about the sweetness percentage it needs to have, or not have. From there, what type of taste? For example, golden syrup has a mellow caramelised flavour while invert sugar syrup is lighter in flavour, so will produce different results in the product they’re applied to.
Understanding what you want the sugar to do, from flavour enhancing to nutrients, is a key step to narrowing down the broad range of sugar products so the right one is selected.
Are you going to apply heat to the sugar?
The next thing to understand is how the sugar is going to be applied to the product. Is the sugar going to be mixed within or used as a coating for the product? In both instances, will heat be applied? And if so, how much and for how long?
The application of heat to sugar, depending on which is chosen, can turn the crystalline into a liquid and then solidify, or can solidify a syrup. The application of heat can affect the overall flavour profile of the sugar such as giving it a more bitter taste. The heat will also evaporate moisture levels. Understanding how the sugar will be applied is an important question when looking for the right sugar.
What are the likely quantities required and how will you store the sugar?
Understanding the tonnage impacts how it will be packaged and stored – it could be as small as 25kg pails, or as large as several bulk tankers. How it will be stored is also important, firstly to understand the available physical space, but also because different sugars have different temperature requirements which impact shelf life. All of these factors are worth considering when thinking of what sugar to select and the frequency of orders.