CHARACTERIZATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF SUGAR INDUSTRY PROCESS UNITS IMPACTED BY NEW PRODUCTION PRACTICES
Location: Commodity Utilization Research
Title: Seasonal variations on sugarcane trash quantity and quality that directly concern refiners
Submitted to: Sugar Industry Technologists Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 8, 2010
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Citation: Eggleston, G., Viator, R.P., Gateuil, A., Jackson, W., Waguespack, Jr., H., White Jr, P.M., Blackwelder, N. 2010. Seasonal variations on sugarcane trash quantity and quality that directly concern refiners. Sugar Industry Technologists Meeting, May 15-19, 2010, Savannah, Georgia. LXIX, No. 993. p. 218-239.
Interpretive Summary: In the U.S., great variations in the quality of manufactured raw sugars with high sucrose and low color content exist mostly because of the range in quality of the sugarcane supply. This study was undertaken to ascertain the variations in juice processing quality parameters of three popular LA varieties across the LA 3-month processing season in 2009. Many quality parameters varied across the season and some may be the cause of expensive sugar losses in the factory. In the U.S., premiums for low color in sugar are paid on color measured at pH 8.5 whereas the rest of the world measures color at pH 7.0. In this study, color at pH 8.5 accentuated varietal differences in juice more than at pH 7.0 and was also more sensitive to GPR and GL colorants. Sugarcane breeding programs now need to include quality parameters as selection criteria.
There is a trend in the U.S. and world-wide to produce very high pol (VHP) and very low color (VLC) raw sugars for vertical integration from the field to the refinery. Great variations in the color and quality of raw and VHP/VLC sugars exist mostly because of the range in quality of the cane supply. Strategies to control the quality of the cane supply will largely depend on the quantity, quality and type of sugarcane trash (green and brown leaves, plus growing point region GPR or top) processed at factories and their seasonal variations. This study was undertaken to ascertain the variations in juice quality parameters that affect VHP/VLC manufacture and refining across the LA 3-month processing season (late Sept to Dec) in 2009. Juice was extracted from separated stalk (S), GPR, green leaf (GL) and brown leaf (BL) tissues of three popular sugarcane varieties (HoCP 96-540, L 99-226 and L 99-233), six times between Sept and Dec 2009. For all three varieties, total trash decreased across the season but GL levels were consistently higher in HoCP 96-540, and by Dec total trash was lowest in L 99-226. As expected, theoretical sugar recovery and juice purity values of stalks increased across the season. In the U.S., premiums for low color in sugar are paid on color measured at pH 8.5 whereas the rest of the world measures ICUMSA color at pH 7.0. In this study, color at pH 8.5 accentuated varietal differences in juice more than at pH 7.0 and was also more sensitive to GPR and GL colorants that are responsible for causing the color of raw, VHP/VLC and affinated sugars. There was a strong varietal difference for starch. Unlike in previous years with an older variety, starch processed at LA factories now increases up to the end of Nov and decreases in Dec. This suggests the need for breeding programs to include quality parameters as selection criteria. Fiber did not vary considerably across the season for all varieties. Ash was highest in all tissues at the beginning of the season (Oct 9), decreased in the middle of the season then increased again at the end of the season. Leaf moisture, juice extraction, and tissue pH variations are also discussed.