What are Sugar Mills?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2020
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Sugar mills are manufacturing facilities that make use of several raw materials to produce sugar products for use in a variety of different food preparation tasks. Sugar makers may choose to focus on the production of a particular type of sugar product, such as granulated sugar. Other sugar making companies may be more diversified, creating a wide 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 manner that produces the desired type of sugar product. The mills may utilize such organic resources as sugarcane, beets, or corn to create sugar that can be used in cakes, sodas, candies, and cereals. Depending on the type of sugar product that is produced, the choice of raw materials and the type of equipment utilized in sugar mills will vary.

Sometimes referred to as sugar refineries, sugar mills operate in many parts of the world. While the processes used to create sugar products were once totally manual, the mechanization of food production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries made it possible to mass produce sugar. As sugar became widely available, prices also dropped. This made sugar and sugar products much more accessible to households of every economic classification.


As with many types of manufacturing, sugar making has undergone a number of changes since the middle of the 20th century. The presence of computer technology to drive production machinery has made it possible to produce higher volumes of product while requiring fewer employees in the sugar mills. Strict monitoring of standards has resulted in more uniform quality of the finished products, which in turn has increased consumer confidence.

Even in the face of the rapid growth and availability of artificial sweeteners, sugar mills continue to thrive all over the world. Much of the production has shifted to nations where production costs are lower. However, there are still sugar mills operating in such countries as the United States and Great Britain that have been in production for more than a hundred years. As long as consumers continue to require sugar for residential and commercial use, the mills are likely to remain in production.


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