The hardness of beet sugar juices results in the scaling of the heat exchanger in the evaporators. To prevent it, increase the thermal efficiency and save energy, it is usual to soften the sugar juice by ion exchange softening resin. The plant can then operate continuously, without frequent interruptions required for de-scaling the equipment.
In this process, the type of resin used is the same as that for water softening, but the resins must be approved for use with food and resist specific stress due to the temperature and concentration of the juice.
The calcium and magnesium ions present in the sugar juice are exchanged for sodium ions from the resin. The process is applied to thin juice, i.e. after carbonation. In general, several columns operate in parallel to ensure continuous operation.