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Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

Specialist sugars and their applications

11/04/2019 By Ibrahim Belo in Products Crystallines, Syrups

In the UK, sugar usually means the white granules derived from sugar beet. But there is a wide range of specialist sugars used in the products we consume every day.

Sugar is sourced from natural sugar cane and beet. In both cases the raw material goes through a refining process involving cutting, cleaning, juice extraction, centrifugal spinning and boiling, with sugar cane then going on to be passed through the centrifuge multiple times. This is to remove any impurities and to extract the sugar ready for processing.

pile of sugar beets with harvester in background

Sugar beet is grown in the UK, while cane sugar comes from overseas.

The process for refining both beet and cane can be adjusted in various ways, such as changing temperature levels or the number of passes through the centrifuge. These changes lead to the different types of sugar crystals, which in turn can be used to produce golden syrups, invert sugars and custom formulations.

We offer a range of sugar variations and can create custom formulations for use in a wide variety of applications. We manufacture sugar to fit your product requirements, such as making soft drinks, liquorice or cereal.

What is treacle and molasses used for?

Molasses is collected during the cane refining process. It has a dark colour, with a very strong flavour profile and, as it has a thick viscosity, is perfect for savoury sauces and liquorice.

Molasses and black treacle are used in a variety of products, including drinks, sauces and confectionary.

Molasses can be blended with invert syrups to form treacle, which is made up of different percentages of molasses and invert sugar syrup. Treacle gives a softer, rounder flavour compared to the almost bittersweet molasses. With a colour range of black through to a dark brown, treacle is often used in cooking sauces and rich fruit cakes and can also be used as a natural food colourant.

What is the difference between golden syrup and inverts?

Both golden syrup and invert sugars contain fructose-glucose, but that is where the similarities end. Golden syrup also contains sucrose, giving it a very sweet and light flavour and a golden colour.

Inverts are flavourless and colourless and are often used in the baking industry, usually to extend the shelf life of bread. Golden syrup, however, is used in products such as flapjacks as it binds the product together and enhances flavour.

When looking for a sugar with a high viscosity to stabilise a product, such as the chewiness of a soft mint, glucose syrup is a practical option. Unlike invert and golden, it is produced by breaking down maize or wheat and, although it is less sweet than invert, can be used as a sweet bulking agent.

First formulated in 1883, golden syrup is the oldest branded food product in the world.

What is blended and sieved sugar?

Blended sugar is granulated in form and is white sugar premixed with molasses and in order to give it a golden-brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour often needed for products such as biscuits and cereals.

Sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry, as it provides you with different particle sizes from coarse to very fine powder. Think of the contrast between particle size of golden caster sugar, which is more like a powder, and demerara sugar.

Ragus manufacture demerara, light cane muscovado and dark cane muscovado sugar.

Something more specialised – custom formulations

Blended sugar is granulated in form and is made up of white sugar premixed with molasses to give a light to dark brown colour. This method provides a consistent colour in the industrial production of biscuits and cereals.

Due to their ability to provide sizes ranging from coarse to very fine powder, sieved sugars are very popular in the baking industry. We sieve, metal detect and bag the sugar in our UK factory to ensure premium quality.

Ragus has over 90 years’ experience manufacturing sugar and syrups. To learn more about our products, please contact our Customer Services Team. To see more sugar news and updates, continue browsing SUGARTALK and follow Ragus on LinkedIn. 

Ibrahim Belo

With a primary responsibility for manufactured product quality control, Ibrahim works within our supplier chain, factory and production laboratory. He has a focus on continuous improvement, implementing and maintaining our technical and quality monitoring processes, ensuring standards and product specifications are met.

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