Mumias Sugar Company Kenya is a winner of the 2019 East Africa Responsible Investment Award offered by Public Opinions International in appreciation of its committment to promote and uphold International best practices and Standards.
In 1967, the Government of Kenya commissioned Booker Agriculture and Technical Services to do a feasibility study on the viability of growing sugarcane in Mumias and then initiate a pilot project.
At the time, the Mumias area was underdeveloped, land utilization was poor as farmers grew food crops on small areas for subsistence only, while the rest of the land was purely for grazing. The relative remoteness of the area and poor communication prevented the development of an active market economy.
However, owing to the fact that land adjudication had been carried out and farmers had freehold title to their land, this favoured the proposed sugarcane project of which studies had returned a clean bill of health.
It was possible to establish a viable sugar scheme at Mumias with the Factory supplied by cane from both the Nucleus Estate and the indigenous Outgrower farmers.
The Government accepted the findings an on July 1, 1971 incorporated Mumias Sugar Company as the body to implement the Project. The Government was to hold majority shares (71%) and minority interests held by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (17%), Kenya Commercial Finance Company (5%), Booker McConnel (4%) and the East African Development Bank (3%).
The major objectives of establishing Mumias Sugar Company were to:
- Provide a source of cash income for farmers
- Create job opportunities since there was no major industrial undertaking in the area at the time
- Curb rural-urban migration
- Reduce overdependence on importation and aim for self-sufficiency in sugar production
- The Company was also expected to operate on a commercial basis and make profits.
Sugar is contained in the sugar plant and stored as a solution in the cane stalk. It is believed to have been first extracted for human consumption in India in ancient times.
In Chemistry the term ‘Sugar’ denotes organic components having similar compositions and functions. They are carbohydrates of the general composition Cn (H2O) n. Sucrose or saccharose or cane sugar is a disaccharide consisting of two monosaccharidic components: D-glucose and D- fructose.
Sucrose differs from the sugars by its ability to crystallize easily. Carbohydrates are formed in plants by photosynthesis, a combination of CO2, water and energy.
6 CO + 6 H2 O + 675 Kcal = C6 H12O6 + 6 O2
Mumias Sugar Company produces brown and white sugars. The two differ in sucrose content and colour density. Brown sugar contains between 99.0 % and 99.49% sucrose while white sugar contain between 99.5% and 99.7% sucrose. The Brown sugar has colour ranging from 401 to 1500 ICUMSA Units while white sugar has colour of maximum 400 ICUMSA Units.
The sugar is bagged and packaged before being released to the market in 50kg, 2kg, 1kg, 1/2kg and 1/4kg. These packaging units are convenient for all the levels of our customers.
USES OF SUGAR.
Mumias Sugar produces white and brown sugar which is used in many different ways:-
In our everyday lives we use sugar in a variety of forms. The most common is granulated sugar. This is used by many people to sweeten hot drinks and breakfast cereals. Sugar can also be bought in cubes, which are made by pressing wet sugar into moulds before drying. Icing sugar, used for coating cakes and pastries is made by grinding the sugar crystals into a fine powder.
Other sugars include caster sugar (finer than granulated and used for baking), preserving sugar (coarser than granulated and used for jams and jellies), and brown sugar (for color and flavor).
Sugar in foods
Sugar is added to many foods for flavor, texture, colour and safety. By reading the ingredients panel on food packaging labels you will see how many ordinary foods contain sugars. Remember glucose, fructose, sucrose, and lactose (milk sugar) are all sugars. Other terms for sugars include dextrose, invert sugar and maltose. Sugar is not just a sweetener; it can be used in a number of different ways:
- As a preservative: at the right concentration sugar helps to stop microorganisms growing and so prevents food spoilage. For example, as in jams and other preserves. This is why reduced sugar jams spoil much more quickly than traditional jams.
- It helps to produce subtle changes in flavor. Sugar offsets the acidity and sour flavour in many foods such as mayonnaise, tomato products and tart fruits like gooseberries and grapefruit.
- As a bulking agent: sugar gives the characteristic texture to a variety of foods - including jams, ice cream and cakes.
- To raise the boiling point or lower the freezing point. This is essential in some recipes, for example making ice cream.
- To speed up the process of fermentation (by yeast) in baking. This makes the dough rise, for example, bread and tea-cakes.
- It makes cakes light and open-textured when it is beaten with butter or eggs in a recipe.
Other uses of sugar
- Sugars are also used to help in healing of some types of wounds.
- They are used by chemical manufactures to grow penicillin.
- Can be added to concrete to aid the setting process.
- Absorb moisture and therefore keep biscuits crunchy.
- Help flowers stay fresher for longer when added to their water.
- Form the glass used in film stunts.
The demand for electricity in Kenya outstrips supply. This is despite imports from Uganda. The co-generation project at Mumias Sugar Company has been very useful in this regard. Onsite power production through bagasse co-generation is currently on the increase. Its potential is not fully exploited in the industry.
The company currently has the capacity to produce 34MW of electricity with 26MW supplied to the National grid supplementing the ever increasing domestic demands. The technology is regarded as a clean energy producing technology, because it consumes the by product from the sugar production process, taking cognisance of the ever increasing environmental concerns.
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