Sugar mills are manufacturing facilities that use a variety of raw materials to produce sugar products for use in a variety of food preparation tasks. Sugar producers may choose to focus on producing a certain type of sugar product, such as granulated sugar. Other sugar producing companies may be more diversified, creating a wider range of sugars for use in residential and commercial applications.
Any sugar mill will take one or more natural sources and refine the material in a way that produces the desired type of sugar product. Mills can use organic resources like sugar cane, sugar beets or corn to create sugar that can be used in cakes, soft drinks, candies and cereals. Depending on the type of sugar product that is produced, the choice of raw materials and the type of equipment used in sugar mills can vary.
Sugar beet is a source of sugar.
Sometimes called sugar refineries, sugar mills operate in many parts of the world. While the processes used to create sugar products were once entirely manual, the mechanization of food production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries made mass production of sugar possible. As sugar became widely available, prices also fell. This made sugar and its products much more accessible to families of all economic classes.
As with many types of manufacturing, sugar manufacturing has undergone a number of changes since the mid-20th century. The presence of computer technology to drive production machinery made it possible to produce greater volumes of products, requiring fewer employees in the sugar mills. Strict monitoring of standards has resulted in more uniform quality of finished products, which in turn has increased consumer confidence.
Even in the face of rapid growth and availability of artificial sweeteners, sugar mills continue to thrive all over the world. Much of the production has moved to countries where production costs are lower. However, there are still sugar mills operating in countries like the United States and Great Britain that have been in production for over a hundred years. As long as consumers continue to demand sugar for residential and commercial use, mills will likely remain in production.