Introduction Products Q & A ICUMSA
& Definitions
Trading Terms
& Definitions


ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis) Ratings are ratings which reflect the grade and quality of sugar. The ratings system is based on the color of sugar, which is regarded as being an effective measure of how refined and free from impurities it is. This article details six of the major types of ICUMSA rated sugar generally traded today. However if you require sugar with an ICUMSA rating not detailed below, get in touch with the specifications you require and we can supply sugar to meet your specific needs. These grades are far from being set in stone, but are useful as general guidelines which may indicate which types of sugar will be suitable for various applications.

Refined Granulated Sugar - ICUMSA 45

The most highly refined form of sugar. This sugar has a sparkling white color, and is the type most often sold direct to consumers in the form of sugar cubes, bags of sugar, and in sugar sachets.

Extra Special Crystal Sugar - ICUMSA 100 – 150

Considered food grade sugar, this sugar is often used in large scale baking, drinks making, or the production of other food stuffs.

Special Crystal Sugar - ICUMSA 200

Food grade sugar suitable for less demanding applications where appearance is not integral to the function of the sugar.

Consumable Raw Sugar (Brown Sugar) - ICUMSA 600-800

This sugar is consumable by humans, and is generally regarded as being very tasty on porridge. Any sugar above ICUMSA 800 is not suitable for humans however, and needs to undergo further refining to remove bacteria and other contaminants.

Raw Sugar-ICUMSA 1600 – 2000
Suitable for further refining, and in some areas of the world may be incorporated into foodstuffs or beauty products.

Very Raw Sugar-ICUMSA 4600 MAX

This type of sugar has undergone very little refining, if any. This is generally regarded as being raw sugar which is then sent to refineries to be refined into any of the above grades of sugar.

ICUMSA Ratings Caveat

Whilst ICUMSA ratings are, by their very nature, a fairly reliable means of determining the quality of sugar, it should be noted that the above rating system is based on what is called the Brazilian SGS ICUMSA rating. This system has ICUMSA 45 as being the most pure form of sugar, and as the numbers go higher, the less refined the sugar is. The European system is different however, and in some cases raw sugars can be described as ICUMSA 42. In order to avoid confusion, it is recommended that you verify with any supplier whether or not it is the Brazilian SGS system of ratings that is being used to describe their sugar. All our sugar ratings are quoted according to the Brazilian SGS System, and are tested in strict accordance with ICUMSA guidelines.

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