Sugars and Syrups

Sugars

If short dough, biscuits are made the particle size of crystalline sugar is important. Granulated sugar from different suppliers often has a different particle size range.

Granulated and caster is delivered either in multi walled paper bags (or more rarely in reusable sacks of hessian or plastic weave) or in bulk tankers.

Check the labels on the bags.

Bulk handled sugar must be checked before the tanker discharges into the factory silo. Check the documentation that accompanies the load. Take a sample and check it visually for crystal size.

Sugar crystals are broken during pneumatic handling. Ensure that the tanker discharges as fast as possible as slow rates of sugar flow allow more breakage of the crystals.

Icing sugar and brown sugars are always delivered in sacks. All these sugars are very prone to lumping during storage so they should be used as fast as possible.

The moisture content of granulated and caster sugar is very low but temperature gradients within and on the outside of silos can cause moisture migration and fusing of crystals to form lumps and hang-ups on silo walls. A clean-down routine should be in place to clear sugar adhering to the sides of the silo. Large lumps will hinder, or even damage, the discharge arrangements from the silo.

Syrups

Syrups, including malt extract, may be supplied in small or large drums or in bulk tankers. In bulk, the syrup is usually delivered warm to reduce the viscosity. Syrups are normally tested for flavour (against a reference sample), colour and solids concentration. The latter test is very simply done with a refractometer.

Syrups attract insects and in low concentrations allow growth of micro-organisms. This means that vents to syrup silos should have microbiological filters. These filters will also stop insects. As the silos are usually heated, it means that there is often some condensation of moisture at the top which can give films of low concentration sugar, ideal for microbial growth. The filters should be replaced regularly and as there is often a heavy sediment from the syrup, the silos should be emptied and washed out thoroughly at least once per year.

Deliveries of syrup should pass through an inline filter to ensure that no extraneous material from the tanker passes into the silo.