The Dutch first introduce sugar can in Mauritius in the early 1639. In the late 1969, sugar was manufactured for this first time in Mauritius. The sugar industry expanded in the 19th century and sugar production reached 150 000 tonnes in 1862 from 52 000 hectare of cane ( ref: http://www.ilemaurice.mu/en/history/sugar.html)
From sugar cane to sugar process:
- The sugarcane stalk is cut from the plant into small pieces;
- They are crushed using a mill to extract the juice;
- The fibre residue is called bagasse and is burnt to generate electricity in power stations;
- Lime is added to the juice to remove non-sugar constituents in the form of solids. These solids sink to the bottom and are removed and further processed to be used as fertilizers.
- The remaining juice is then concentrated via evaporation.
- Crystallization is then carried out under vacuum at a high controlled temperature;
- Sugar crystals are separated from this thick mixture by passing it through a spinning cylinder.
- The syrup left behind devoid of sugar crystals is called molasses. It is still rich in sugar content – about 30% – which cannot be economically extracted. Molasse is used in distilleries to make rum.