The Chemical journey happens in a zig -zag manner in terms of pH adjustment during sugar processing. Initially the pH of came juice shows around 4.5 and with the help of lime is raised to neutral value i.e. 7.0 pH to arrest the inversion. The pH parameter is crucial for three different types of sugar refinement which includes liming, carbonation and sulfidation.
In the above context pH varies from 4.5 to 11.5 with corresponding temperature variation for the reason of precipitation of dissolved organics, clarification, and finally crystallisation of product. Such ups – down of pH needs sensitive and careful control at different steps, minimizes the potential loss of sugar.
Keeping all such delicate processing, it must bear in mind about various chemical reactions carried out by addition of Regular and Process Chemicals for known clarification and other relevant reasons. So far Regular chemicals like sulphur di-oxide, Phosphoric acid, ammonium bi – fluoride etc. pH of these Chemicals are never being questioned and willingly used for sugar processing purpose.
These Chemicals cause pH fluctuations during processing. Whereas certain process Chemicals are also imperative for their use during processing are like Colour Precipitant, Bio-cide, Viscosity Reducer, Antiscalant etc. These Chemicals are always under the strictness for their essentiality of their pH and Food grade quality.
In summing up the whole processing stages, it may be noted that essentially so-called process chemicals are Parts Per Million (ppm) dosses in use. Such ppm dosses are simply falling under micro quantity and broadly be taken as a drop in ocean. Accordingly, it may be safely assumed that by mixing such Process Chemicals in a bulk material will not change the pH of the bulk material.
Whether the pH of such Process Chemicals anywhere 2 – 12 pH cannot be harmful to disturb the pH of the bulk material in any manner or create a pocket of any extreme ph.
In a nutshell, we can derive from above that any Process Chemicals can be accepted irrespective of its body pH and either 2 or 12 pH will not eat up the sugar.
About Food grade quality
This is another issue for sugar Industry which is in a viral form. If simply we assume any Chemical reaction, the reactive Chemical loses its nature after reacting with another Chemical. It can be exemplified as Sodium Hydroxide when reacts with Hydrochloric acid, both loses it’s nature by producing the product.
So, considering the use of Food grade process Chemicals during sugar manufacturing, casts doubt about importance of only Food grade chemicals are to be used. However, chemical restrictions can’t be ruled out if the product contains any harmful ingredients are found. So, it is proposed to test the product rather than to impose ban Non-Food grade Chemicals. in use by analogy, the use of Regular Chemicals which are not good enough for direct human consumption purpose, however, in reactive system cause safe addition of such Chemicals.
To conclude, it is essential to assure for Process Chemicals the restrictions of pH range and food grade chemicals may not be imposed, rather stress is given on product analysis for its potential loss and harmful ingredients.