DIY: Beet Sugar Body Scrub

| 1/12/2010 10:33:49 AM


Desiree Bell is inspired by botanicals and natural materials. She is a vegetarian who has a certificate in herbal studies and a certificate from Australasian College of Health Sciences in Aromatherapy. When she isn't in her suburban garden, hiking or crafting, she is teaching pre-k with an emphasis on nature and gardening.

There is a distinct smell this time of year in the town where I live. "Yek," is what most people say. The smell is the sugar beets processed at the Amalgamated Sugar Company. When thinking about what to write this month, a thought occurred to me, "I’ll go get one of those sugar beets off the road and make my own sugar for an article about sugar scrubs." Trucks hauling beets from neighboring towns get off the freeway on their way to the sugar factory and some of the beets from the load fall to the side of the road.

Sugar beets look like very large, cream colored carrots. Sugar is produced in the leaves of the sugar beet plant and stored in the root. They are harvested late-September until mid-February or early March. To process beets into sugar they are washed and sliced into thin strips. Sugar juice is extracted from the strips with hot water. The raw juice is purified with lime and carbon dioxide, then filtered and concentrated. It is then evaporated further in a batch vacuum pan and the sugar is crystallized. Then the sugar crystals are separated in a centrifuge, washed and dried.


Sugar beets can be grown in cooler regions and on land of poor quality, which makes them an attractive alternative to cane sugar because they are cheaper to grow. Sugar cane requires a tropical environment where land is often at a premium in cost.