In the past, 100kg jute bags were used for raw sugar transport from cane sugar mills to the refineries. Nowadays, for long distances, raw sugar transport is done in bulk in ships of about 15.000 ton/cargo.
During transport, raw sugar pass from wet and hot climatic conditions, in the tropics, to more temperate countries, as in Europe. As sugar is a hygroscopic product, moisture adsorption will occur in high humidity conditions. This humidity will be lost when sugar is contacted with dryer conditions, and sobresaturation in sugar syrup layer will increase. This provokes sugar crystallization and adjacent crystals will be linked. This process, generalized, gives origin to sugar lumps that can be a serious problem for sugar handling. To avoid this crystallization, a low purity syrup layer is maintained involving the raw sugar crystals.
Raw Sugar beeing discharged from the truck to the silo
(Guatemala 2005 - Photo Luis Bento)
At the destination harbor, raw sugar is unloaded, weighted and sampled to control sucrose content, for commercial purposes. Sucrose is estimated by the raw sugar polarization degree (Pol). Raw sugar price will depend on its Pol value, applying a correction factor to its base price, referred to 96º Pol (Hill, 1993).
Hill F.R., 1993, Raw sugar purchasing, marketing and receiving, in Cane Sugar
Handbook, Chen J.P.C., C.C. Chou, Pub. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 12th ed.,