Glossary of Sugar Terms

Accounted Losses

(Known Losses) Lost sugar that has been measured as to quantity. (Pulp, lime waste, molasses, and sometimes main sewer losses are accounted losses).


Process for purifying an impure crystalline sugar by mixing it with syrupto form a magma, then spinning the magma for separation.


The relative hydroxyl (OH) ion content of juice as measured by titration with acid. (Reported as CaO).

Apparent Purity

Purity as calculated when the sugar (sucrose) content has been measured by a single direct polarization.


The solid residue remaining after a sample has been incinerated in the presence of oxygen. (All combustible matter oxidized and driven off as gases). Sometimes determined by the electrical conductivity of the solution.

Beet End

The portion of the sugar factory from the beet fluming system through and including the juice purification station. (May or may not include the evaporators depending upon local practice).


Same as hopper except usually considered as long term storage and usually larger. (See Hopper).


Percent soluble solids(dry substance) in solution as measured with a hydrometer or Brix spindle. (Some error is always associated with any measurement. R.D.S. is normally considered more accurate than Brix).


(See Hopper)


Refers to the overall juice purification system which employs the addition of lime and carbon dioxide gas.


Apparatus for separation of solid sugar crystals in massecuite from the associated liquid sugar solution.


An apparatus for gravitational settling of suspended solids from a liquid with provision for overflow of clear liquid and separation of the concentrated solids slurry. (Sometimes called a thickener).


The long, thin slices of beet tissue that are fed to the diffuser.


An apparatus for counter current extraction of sucrose from beet tissue. (Other water soluble solids are also extracted).


The weight of raw juice as a percentage of beet weight.

Dried Pulp

Pulp after dehydration in the dryer - should be about 7–10% moisture. (May have molasses added - molasses dried pulp, or no molasses added - plain pulp).

Dry Substance (solids)

The matter in a given sample or system when free of water (moisture removed).

Elimination (diffuser elimination, carbonation elimination)

The nonsugar (technically nonsucrose) matter removed from the beets and/or juice during processing; usually expressed as a percentage. (Diffuser elimination and carbonation elimination refer to elimination occurring at that station).


The amount of sugar (sucrose) recovered for sale as a percentage of the amount entering the factory in the beets.

First Carbonation ON (1st Carb)

That portion of carbonation purification wherein (after lime addition) the carbon dioxide gas is added with the objective of obtaining both optimum purification and optimum handling of suspended solids (settling and filtration) are sought. (Compromise is always required).


A trough wherein beets are transported by water flotation.


A container used for short-term storage of solid materials. Provision is made for material to enter the top of the container and be withdrawn from the bottom.

Invert Or Invert Sugar

The mixture of glucose and fructose formed by the hydrolysis of sucrose. (The inversion occurs at low pH or by microbiological fermentation).

Lime Cake

The suspended solids that have been removed from “thickened” 1st carb juice. (Contains calcium carbonate, solid nonsugars removed from juice and some sugar not recovered by washing cake).


The content of dissolved calcium salts in the juice.

Lime Waste

Slurry of lime cake with water that is discarded - to lime pond. Only 15 calories per teaspoon 11 LOSSES Quantities of sugar that escape the process by either physical or chemical means.


The treatment of the juice with relatively large amounts of lime. (One of the steps in the juice purification system).


The water insoluble content of the sugarbeet


The mixture of solid, crystalline sugar and liquid sugar solution resulting from the crystallization of sugar in pan boiling.

Mother Liquor

The liquid sugar solution associated with solid crystalline sugar in a massecuite (before or after separation from crystals).


As used locally, refers to all water soluble substances that are not sucrose. (Technically the term should be nonsucrose, since other sugars may be in solution. Water is also a nonsucrose substance).

Pan (Vacuum Pan)

The apparatus within which crystallization of sugar from solution is accomplished. (A tank-like vessel; essentially a single effect evaporator). (White, high raw, or low raw designations indicated by the sugar crystallized therein).


Sugar(sucrose) content as measured with a polariscope or saccharimeter (sometimes abbreviated as “Pol”).

Pressed Pulp

Pulp after mechanical moisture removal by presses - generally 75–80% moisture.


Treatment of raw juice with small amounts of lime. (One of the steps in the juice purification system).

Pulp (Beet Pulp)

The water insoluble beet tissue remaining after sugar extraction in the diffuser.


The percentage of water soluble solids (dry matter) that is sugar (sucrose).


A slightly sweet crytstalline sugar that retards the crystal growth of sucrose. (More of a problem with stored beets).

Raw Juice (Diffusion Juice)

The solution of sugar (sucrose) and nonsugars (nonsucrose constituents) obtained from diffuser.

Raw Sugar

Solid, crystalline sugar (sucrose) of insufficiently high quality to be marketable. (High raw sugar is sugar from high raw pans, roughly 98–99 purity. Low raw sugar is sugar from low raw pans, roughly 92–94 purity).


To redissolve crystallized sugar for the purpose of recrystallizing it. (Usually because the sugar does not meet the standards for marketing).


Percent soluble solids (dry substance) in solution as measured with a refractometer.

Second Carbonation (2nd Carb)

That portion of carbonation purification after the suspended solids from 1st carb have been removed, wherein the objective is to remove as much calcium as possible from solution (minimum lime salts).


Apparatus for cutting beets into strips or cossettes.


Generally refers to sucrose, the carbohydrate found in beets and cane that is recovered for food use. (There are other sugars, such as invert or raffinose which will generally be distinguished by name).

Sugar End

The portion of the sugar factory which includes the sugar crystallization, separation, drying, and storage of sugar produced. (May or may not include the evaporators depending upon local practice).


The addition of SO2 (sulfur dioxide) gas to filtered 2nd carb juice - primarily to inhibit color formation.


The unwanted dirt and trash delivered by the grower to the factory. (Top and crown material included in some areas).


(See Clarifier)

True Purity

Purity as calculated when the sugar (sucrose) content has been measured by either multiple polarization techniques or by other, more accurate methods (gas chromatography, isotope dilution, etc.).

Turbidity (Causes)

Soluble lime salts, standard liquor filter leaks, foam breaking oil, insufficient lime addition to juice purification.

Unaccounted Losses (Unknown Losses)

The difference between the total sugar entering the factory and the sum of total recovered sugar and all accounted losses.

Wet Pulp

Pulp directly from diffuser - high moisture (over 90%).