REFINED WHITE SUGAR, ICUMSA 45
Sugar is a product traded globally. The widely used type is ICUMSA 45. It is the world’s leading consumer sugar.
A highly refined sugar product, it is easily recognizable by its distinctive sparkling white color and pure sucrose taste. ICUMSA 45 is perpetually in high demand as it is the safest form of sugar, due to the fact that the refining process by which it is created removes the bacteria and contaminants often present in raw sugars which can pose a threat to human health.
ICUMSA is the abbreviation of “International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis”. It is a worldwide body which brings together the activities of the National committees for Sugar Analysis in more than 30 member countries. It is an International unit for expressing the purity of the Sugar. In Brazil SGS has an ICUMSA rating of 45 RBU (Reference Base Units) for refined Sugar indicating the highest quality.
ICUMSA ratings are based on a test which determines the precise color of the sugar and communicates this in a numerical reading. This test works because the color of sugar is directly related to how much refining it has undergone. Raw sugar is very dark in color, whereas highly refined sugar is the familiar sparkling white color most often associated with sugar.
The ICUMSA test is carried out with an instrument called a Tristimulus Colorimeter. This is a machine that fires various wavelengths of light at the sugar sample, and detects which were absorbed by the sugar sample, and which were reflected back. Dark colors absorb a great deal of light, whereas light colors absorb very little. For this reason the colorimeter returns a low result of ICUMSA 45 when analyzing highly refined sugar, and higher ratings of ICUMSA 1000 or more when analyzing more raw.
This is an inevitable system due to the fact that the Sugar trade is a global business and since the buyers and sellers are mostly from different countries or different parts of the world, the ICUMSA rating method allows a meaningful and accurate description of the product and the same can be easily understood by both parties.