Sugar is produced from harvested sugar cane or sugar beets and processed by a sugar mill. The milling process extracts juice from the beets and cane with grinding pressure. Extracted sugar proceeds through a purification process that removes impurities. Sugar is further refined to different granule grades and bleached with limestone as appropriate. Beet pulp can be sold for a filler in cattle feed and cane pulp can be burned as a biomass fuel. Audits of sugar mills test for quality standards, accuracy and regulatory compliance.s
Verify that farm sources of sugar cane are supplying the contracted amounts of sugar cane. Confirm accounting invoices that reflect that the mill is paying the contracted rate for the sugar cane.
Check equipment functioning capacity. Validate equipment maintenance records. Ensure that cold digesters, boilers, distillers and other equipment meet local ordinances and state regulations for what is acceptable and what is required in manufacturing sugar.
Interview a sample of random employees to verify that employees are similarly trained in company quality control measures. Ask about any safety incidents that have occurred over the previous year. Verify whether these incidents have been documented on an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) accident incident report.
Confirm the types of sugar that the mill produces. Brown sugar, turbinado, "raw" sugar and white table sugar are prepared by different methods. Evaluate the methods for producing the different sugar products manufactured by the mill. Compare these methods to industry standards. Brown sugar, for example, is made by leaving some amount of molasses in the sugar when it goes through the centrifuge. Turbinado is steamed rather than boiled to reduce impurities. So called "raw" sugar is sugar that has not been bleached or refined to a fine grain. Estimate whether the quality of the products produced meets the company's documented quality standards for the amount of impurities that pass through the final quality inspection.
Identify the packaging for each type of sugar. Measure the labeling on consumer retail packaging against the Federal Drug Administration requirements for labeling and nutrition.
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