ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis) is a world-wide body which brings together the activities of the National Committees for Sugar Analysis in more than thirty member countries.
Work is carried out under various Subjects each headed by a Referee.
ICUMSA is the only international organisation concerned solely with analytical methods for the sugar industry. In addition to use by that industry, ICUMSA methods are recognised by authorities such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the OIML, the EU, and the US Food Chemicals Codex.
Methods are recommended for Tentative (T) approval by ICUMSA in the first instance. Upon meeting all the Commission's requirements, methods are accorded Official (O) status. Methods which are demonstrably useful and have found an established application, or which do not lend themselves to collaborative testing, are given an Accepted (A) status. Details of how the status of Methods has been established may be obtained by reading the relevant Proceedings.
Sugar trading features heavily in futures trading, and many crops are sold years before they are actually grown, sometimes up to three years before the sugar cane is even planted. Brazil refines relatively little of its sugar for export, so newcomers to the market will often find that much Brazilian ICUMSA 45 has already been sold quite some time before it was produced. For this reason, buyers looking to purchase large amounts of sugar, especially of ICUMSA 45, but also lower grade sugar often run into difficulties sourcing a reliable supplier.
According to the Brazilian SGS method of testing, ICUMSA 45 sugar is the highest quality sugar available on the market today. The quality of sugar is determined by a system devised by ICUMSA (International Commission For Uniform Methods Of Sugar Analysis), which is an international body that has sought to standardize the measurements which are used to describe sugar, so that no matter where the purchaser lives, or where the sugar source is located, an understanding of the type and quality of the sugar can be gained simply by quoting a rating, such as ICUMSA 45.
Sugar is tested according to a scale of whiteness. A simplistic way of looking at ICUMSA ratings is to say that the more white a sugar is, the more refined it is. ICUMSA 45 sugar is a sparkling white, highly refined sugar, suitable for human consumption and use in a wide range of food applications.
But how precisely is the whiteness of the sugar determined? In order for there to be an international standard, there needs to be a replicable scientific test to determine the ICUMSA rating of a sugar, and in order to achieve this level of precision and replicability, a colorimeter is used.
A colorimeter is a piece of equipment that determines which wavelengths of light are best absorbed by a substance. This is a useful piece of equipment, and a useful testing method because it is the ability of a substance to absorb various wavelengths of light that determines its color. Therefore, if a sugar is very white and very refined, it will absorb little light, something which can be quantified by the colorimeter.
To understand how this works in real world terms, think of how we humans perceive color. The human eye sees colors because certain objects absorb certain wavelengths of light, and reflect those which are not absorbed back to the eye. For example, a ball that appears blue to the human eye is simply made of a substance that absorbs all wavelengths of light apart from the blue ones, and reflects those back. The color, or rather the shade of white works similarly except for the fact that things which we perceive as being very white are actually absorbing almost no light, and instead are reflecting all the light back at the eye.
Sugar tested according to ICUMSA standards is usually tested with light wavelengths of 420 nm and 560 nm, and the standard colorimeter used to analyze sugar according to ICUMSA standards is a tristimulus colorimeter, an instrument which measures several readings along what is known as the visible spectrum (simply the spectrum of light that is visible to the human eye). The output reading is then based on how much light was absorbed by the sugar sample. A low reading, such as 45, indicates highly quality refined sugar which absorbs little light and appears very white to the human eye, whereas a high reading going into the 1000 + range indicates an unrefined raw sugar which absorbs much more light, and therefore appears brown and dark.
Granulated Refined Sugar – Industrial Standard
As a natural sucrose sweetener, presented in the form of solid crystals, the Guarani® granulated refined sugar is obtained through the spontaneous crystallization of a refined solution of sugar in water. It has the form of the ordinary crystal sugar, but it stands out for its light color and clearness, and it is considered as a “Premium” type sugar. It is one of the most consumed sugars worldwide, having recently been introduced in the domestic market.
A highly versatile product, capable of meeting the requirements of domestic, industrial and pharmaceutical applications. It stands out for its low color content, and it is widely used in the soda and transparent beverage industries, wherein the color (or absence of color) of the mixture is a significant factor for the product. Its purity and low susceptibility to microbiological contamination (practically sterile) makes this product one of the most indicated for drug manufacturing in pharmaceutical industries.