Glucose Plants

Know-how and technology licensing.

Vogelbusch Glucose Technology

Glucose, also known as dextrose, is a natural sweetener, which is obtained from starch containing plants such as corn, wheat, rice and cassava.

As a liquid intermediate product, glucose syrup serves as a feedstock for fermentation processes and it can be further processed to gain sorbitol or fructose. Crystallization of glucose syrup produces dextrose anhydrate or monohydrate, which are used in foodstuff as a sweetening agent, and in medical applications.

Starting out from starch milk, we design and supply plants for the production of liquid and crystalline types of glucose.

For key figures for glucose plant construction
Block diagram

Vogelbusch process for glucose production from starch milk


Starch is processed into glucose, a high DE (dextrose equivalent) starch sugar, that can be further processed into other types of starch sugar and to biobased chemicals.

Conditioning of starch milk

The feedstock for glucose production is starch milk at a purity ranging from 98 to 99 % of starch in dry substance. 

Starch mixed with process water is buffered in a starch milk vessel to allow homogenization of the starch slurry.


Conversion from starch to sugar is carried out as a two-step enzymatic process.

In the liquefaction step, the starch slurry is treated with enzymes and fed to a jet cooker, where the starch is pre-liquefied. This solution is cooled down in an expansion vessel and placed in an intermediate storage tank for final liquefaction.

In the saccharification tanks, further enzymes are added to convert the dextrin into glucose and minor amounts of higher sugars (maltose, isomaltose, maltotriose etc.). By carefully selecting the process parameters, DE values of up to 98 can be reached within 30 - 60 hours of saccharification time.

1 glucose filtration

For the separation of suspended particles such as fibers and proteins Vogelbusch offers a broad range of filtration technologies. State-of-the-art cross flow membranes can be employed with the aim to recover the separated solids as a valuable animal fodder. Filter presses, vacuum drum or disk filters still form a cheap alternative and hence are widely used mainly for processing low DE syrups.

Deashing of the filtered solution is done in a pair of strong acidic and weak basic ion exchangers. Color bodies and foreign tastes are reduced to a minimum by activated carbon treatment. This is done either by passing through vessels filled with granular activated carbon or by suspending and subsequent filtering of the activated carbon powder.

To concentrate the solution, a finely tuned system of multiple effect plate type or falling film evaporators is deployed. It is heated by steam and powered by mechanical or thermal vapor re-compression, thus ensuring utmost energy efficiency in combination with minimal thermal stress for the product.

The final dry substance content is adjusted to the market demand, or to the subsequent processing steps.

1 grainprocessing
Biotechnological complexes

Glucose is only one of many compounds in the starch sweetener and fermentation business.

Besides starch milk and sweeteners, grain processing facilities additionally can include the production of a whole range of valuable products and by-products such as

  • Dry native starch
  • Dry protein fraction (gluten)
  • Germ fraction
  • Dried and pelletized animal fodder
  • Modified starch and other upgraded starch products
  • Fermentation products

We understand the interaction among substrate, bioconversion, recovery and purification and can assist you in developing your complete grain-processing project, from raw material selection through to the final product range.

Contact us for

  • Pre-engineering and feasibility studies including comparison of different product scenarios
  • Determination of the most suitable technical solutions and equipment for drying, filtration, evaporation, ...
  • System integration of all involved technologies (dry milling, wet milling, starch processing, product drying, ...)

More about  » Cross Integration Services

1 fructose 7041
Production of biobased chemicals

Besides the production of glucose syrups, dextrose, high fructose syrup and sorbitol, glucose serves as a carbohydrate source for the fermentation of biochemicals such as

  • Amino acids
  • Organic acids
  • Antibiotics
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vitamins
  • Enzymes
  • Bioplastics

We realize biochemical production plants based on our proprietary bioprocess technology, and with licensed technology from third parties.

Average consumption figures for glucose production

All figures given here are typical and can vary depending on plant configuration and equipment.

Consumption for 1,000 kg final product
Starch kg 710
Steam kg 750
Power kWh 60

Consumption for 1,000 kg final product
Starch kg 1,250
Steam kg 1,800
Power kWh 460
Our glucose showcase projects


All information given here is typical and can vary depending on plant configuration. For particular information please send us a message with your project details.

Glucose syrups are produced in a two stage enzymatic process yielding mainly glucose and higher sugars, but virtually no fructose. Fructose syrups are produced subsequently by enzymatic conversion of glucose.

 Again, those syrups differ in their share of higher sugars, maltose and glucose

  • Low DE syrups are ranging from DE 20 - 40 and contain mainly higher sugars
  • In maltose syrups, ranging from DE 45 - 60, maltose has the biggest portion
  • High DE syrups with a DE value of > 96 contain mainly glucose

Since the composition (sugar profile) of the final product is solely defined by the enzymatic conversion mode, a broad range of products from DE 32 to DE 98 can be achieved by variation of types of enzymes and process parameter. 

Owing to rather low profit margins of glucose syrups the minimum economic capacity is rather high, normally starting at 25,000 tpa. However, if the glucose syrup is used as an intermediate for more profitable products, considerably lower capacities may be commercially interesting.

Glucose plants connected to grain processing facilities are run with one type of feedstock, which is the starch milk available from there.

Nevertheless, plants can also be designed to run on dry starch and in such case different types of native starch (e. g. wheat, corn, cassava) can be processed with only minor adjustments of process parameter.

The technology for the production of starch is offered by specialized companies and is not part of the Vogelbusch service package.

Decisive factors for the location of the glucose plant are the same as for grain processing

  • Short transport routes for raw material & the final product
  • Availability of energy and water

The most suitable location is therefore next to a grain processing facility.


A small glucose plant excluding utilities can be placed in a building of approximately 50 m x 36 m x 18 m (L x W x H). Additionally, space for product storage according to ruling logistics has to be foreseen.

Capital expenditure always depends on plant capacity and configuration as well as local conditions. Costs for the process plant (excluding building, auxiliaries, infrastructure) for glucose syrup are from euro 5 million upwards.

This figure is for general reference only since each project has its own particularities that need consideration. 

With permits on hand the engineering, delivery of equipment and construction takes 12 - 18 months depending on capacity and complexity of the plant.

Complete our design questionnaire (check Links & Downloads section below) and send it back to us to get a professional opinion on your project.

Process units

Find out more about the processes used in glucose production:

Enzymatic conversion of starch into sugar.
Separating solid-liquid and liquid-liquid media.
Concentrating products and treating effluents.
Removing of ionic impurities and colors.
Ion exchange
Separating suspended particles.
Cleaning and product formulation.
Finishing of products and co-products.


Starch Convention & Bioethanol Technology Meeting

April 09 - 11, Detmold, Germany

Russia: Project progress at Rosva

Installation works are ongoing in Kaluga.