From sugar beet to sugar crystals
In Sweden, most of the sugar beet is grown in Skåne, which has the correct soil and the most favourable climate. The sugar beet is harvested in autumn and winter, and it is only during these months that sugar is produced. After the beets are transported to the sugar beet mill they are washed and then cut into thin sticks called cossettes, similar to French fries.
The sugar is extracted from the beet by placing the cossettes in hot water at 70 degrees C. This produces a raw juice, which is purified and then concentrated into a thick juice or syrup containing about 70 percent sugar. When the syrup is boiled, white sugar crystals are formed. The syrup is centrifuged until only the crystals themselves are left - a pure and naturally white sugar. The process of extracting sugar from sugar beet takes about 12 hours, and each sugar beet yields about 30 sugar cubes.
Learn what the sugar terms mean in our Sweetener glossary
Learn more about the different stages of sugar production in the film From beet to crystal