Producing good and consistent quality sugar relies on crystal growth, and supersaturation is the driving force for this growth. The speed of crystallization depends on this multivariable equation of several parameters. Supersaturation is defined as the ratio of sugar in a solution to the sugar needed to saturate the solution at the same temperature.
Supersaturation has an optimal range where sugar crystals grow evenly and widely, reaching the desired crystal size.
Outside this range the crystals will stop growing and may even melt or start to form new crystals spontaneously, creating fines and conglomerates that need to be reprocessed as they simply cannot be collected from the liquor.
Reprocessing is a major problem as it wastes time and energy, increases production costs, steam and water consumption, and decreases the effective yield of produced sugar.
Vaisala developed together with Zutora a SeedMaster system where all the required parameters are taken into account, and the true supersaturation value can be calculated.
The following measurements are required for accurate supersaturation value:
- Concentration control using a digital inline process refractometer,
- absolute pressure control,
- level control
- and microwave density meter.
K-PATENTS® Process Refractometer PR-23-GP/GC