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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Postharvest Quality and Processing of Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum for Sugar and Ethanol Production Title: Post-harvest deterioration in sweet sorghum

item Lingle, Sarah
item Sklanka, Scottie
item Tew, Thomas
item Rukavina, Harry -

Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2011
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Citation: Lingle, S.E., Sklanka, S.L., Tew, T.L., Rukavina, H. 2011. Post-harvest deterioration in sweet sorghum (abstract). Sugar Journal. 74(1):20-21.

Technical Abstract: Sweet sorghum is a potential feedstock for sugar-based biofuel production, since high concentrations of sugars accumulate in the stalk, and it can be processed using existing sugarcane factories. To better understand how harvesting options influence processing parameters, sweet sorghum was hand-cut and stripped, and cut into four sizes: shredded, 20-cm billets, 40-cm billets, or whole stalks. The sorghum was then stored for up to 4 days at ambient temperature before processing to extract the juice. Quality parameters measured included juice pH, titratable acidity, Brix, and simple sugars. Juice pH and titratable acidity were the most rapid and easiest measures of juice deterioration. Measurement of juice Brix was not a good measure of deterioration, since it either increased or remained the same during the 4-day storage period. Sucrose decreased with storage, while glucose and fructose increased in juice from billets and whole-stalks. In freshly harvested juice, glucose concentrations were about twice the fructose concentrations. However, in deteriorated juice, glucose and sucrose disappeared, while a residue of fructose remained. There were no significant differences in sugars among the two sizes of billets and whole stalks.

Last Modified: 11/30/2015