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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: LARGE FACTORY STUDIES ACROSS THE SEASON TO DETERMINE HOW DIFFERENT LEVELS OF TRASH IMPACT UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To conduct large factory trials across the Louisiana processing season to determine how different levels of trash impact upsteam and downstream processing. The trials will provide crucial knowledge on what levels and types of trash are impeding the manufacture of VHP/VLC sugar for the new LA refineries, what the critical level of trash that causes VHP/VLC sugar to be produced over raw sugar, and also provide optimum ground and fan speeds to control the levels of processed trash for VHP/VLC sugar manufacture that is of economical benefit and satisfactory to both parties.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Multiple juice samples from crusher to mixed juice, taking into account retention time, will be collected at two Louisiana factories across the 2009 season. pH control and trash effects will be determined to reduce expensive sucrose losses.


3.Progress Report

Hundreds of samples were collected across the 2009 processing season at Lafourche Factory to assess where and how much sucrose losses occurred in the factory, and how they varied seasonally. Sampling was repeated every 30 min, five times, to constitute a sampling period. The sampling period was repeated six times across the season on Oct 15, Oct 21, Oct 29, Nov 12, Nov 24, and Dec 15. There was emphasis on early season when cane is immature and trash levels are high. Results are still being analyzed, but so far sucrose losses are mostly occurring in the clarification tank, in the pre-evaporator, and the last two evaporators in the factory. A method to better control and reduce sucrose losses in the clarification tank and pre-evaporator, especially in early season, is to add lime saccharate (lime added to juice) compared to the traditional application of milk of lime (lime is added to water in a suspension).

For comparison reasons, seasonal sucrose losses were also studied at Cora Texas factory in 2009. In this study, the focus was only on juices across the tandem mill and incubator tanks, as this is where enzymatic sucrose losses by invertases (an enzyme that converts sucrose to smaller sugar molecules) will occur. Invertase enzymes are more concentrated in the tops and green leaves. Initial crusher juice, recycled juice, mixed juice, filtrate juice, and incubator juice exiting the incubator tanks were collected. Sampling was repeated every 30 min, five times, to constitute a sampling period. The sampling period was repeated seven times across the season on Oct 5, Oct 9, Oct 16, Oct 30, Nov 16, Dec 1, and Dec 14. Samples are still being analyzed. The progress is monitored via periodic telephone conversations, meetings, and presentations.


Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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