An Association of Academically Trained Sugar Technologists was founded in Berlin in 1891 at the suggestion of Professor Alexander Herzfeld, director of the Berlin Sugar Industry Institute. The following year, the internationally known sugar technologist, Dr Hermann Claassen, was elected chairman. Thanks to his initiative, the association received its present name and underwent substantial development. At the time of its creation, around 400 sugar factories existed in Germany. Distance hindered the work of the association and beginning in 1894, branch associations were established in various parts of the country. Prior to World War I, there were ten such branch associations, including an international one with members throughout Europe and overseas. In those days, the association also helped its members find jobs and assisted them in times of need.
From the beginning, the association has encouraged its members to submit and publish scientific studies in the fields of sugar chemistry and sugar technology through the award of monetary prizes on recommendation of a technical committee. Following World War II, the association was re-established in 1948, and it is now a member of the German Federation of Technical and Scientific Associations. The business of the Association is conducted by an executive committee composed of the chairman, the chairs of the three branch associations, North, Centre and South, the secretary-treasurer and his/her deputy, as well as a member from the equipment industry.
Since 1969, the association has a technical terminology committee with several working groups tasked with laying down uniform, technically correct terms, not only in German but also, with the help of foreign members, in other languages. There is also a committee for research and scrutiny of prize papers. The journal Zuckerindustrie/Sugar Industry is the official organ of the association.
The association has regular, foreign and honorary members. Students can become candidates for membership. Members who have rendered distinguished service to the association or sugar technology may be appointed honorary members. Currently, the association has around 600 members, including many abroad. Persons desiring to join the association register their wish with the chair of the branch association serving their place of residence. Applications for membership must list the names of two members as sponsors.
The branch associations stage several events during the year with lectures, visits and similar activities. A regular general membership meeting of the association takes place annually, organized in turn by one of the branch associations, and is followed by a scientific session with presentations and by a social gathering. Occasionally, the membership meeting may take place abroad, arranged by foreign members.