A new, wholesome sugar

Combining the ancient Indian art of sugar making with modern technology has resulted in a new sugar product for the health conscious consumer.
The Good Sugar Co (GSC), manufacturer of the product, says its yet to be named natural sugar is to normal, refined sugar what whole wheat bread is to white bread.
Natural sugar is made by clarifying {mosimage}Combining the ancient Indian art of sugar making with modern technology has resulted in a new sugar product for the health conscious consumer.
The Good Sugar Co (GSC), manufacturer of the product, says its yet to be named natural sugar is to normal, refined sugar what whole wheat bread is to white bread.
Natural sugar is made by clarifying and then desiccating natural cane juice, which along with the natural sucrose contains all the minerals, vitamins and protein of molasses. It has a golden brown colour and the aroma of molasses.
GSC's process is based on the traditional, low tech open pan sugar milling method which is still practiced in India and some other sugar growing countries to produce jaggery, gur, khandesari or panela (natural sugars), typically on-site by small scale sugar producers.
The founders of GSC, Chris Matthews and George O'Reilly, have spent the last three years developing a modernized version. Both have extensive experience within the South African sugar industry and their research included developments in Columbia where a similar process is used.
They have designed and built a factory with a processing capacity of around 12,000t/year of sugar cane, over a crushing season of around 222 days (at peak it can produce around 5t of natural sugar per day).
The process encourages manual systems, for example feeding the mill and hand packaging, thus creating around 30 jobs. The plant differs from traditional jaggery plants in four respects:

  • It is relatively large scale by jaggery standards (50t/day cane compared to between 1-20t/day).
  • Its design is fuel self-efficient – the bagasse is dried by spent flue gas.
  • The plant is equipped with simple instrumentation to produce a more consistent final product.
  • The plant is designed in a container like structure. It can be commissioned off-site before erection and can be readily relocated if necessary.
    GSC is set up as a franchisor of both the factory and the product. Its concept of sugar production is designed for entrepreneurs throughout Africa and costs around $0.8m.
    Contact: Chris Matthews, tel +27-33-3431719; 072 362 8742; criscane@mweb.co.za