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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sucrose Degradation Products in Industrial and Model Study Samples: a Comparison

Authors
item Eggleston, Gillian
item Clarke, Margaret - SUGAR PROCESSING RESEARCH
item Pepperman Jr, Armand

Submitted to: Sugar Industry Technologists Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Millions of dollars are lost each year in the sugar industry due to chemical losses of sucrose in sugar manufacturing and refining. Such losses are difficult to measure, and the most accurate way to determine sucrose loss would be to measure the formation of a stable degradation product, that is a marker compound. Oligosaccharides, which are small chains of sugars, are formed in the breakdown of sucrose under acid and alkaline conditions, and have strong potential as possible stable markers. Ion chromatography, was used to separate oligosaccharides (with up to 12 sugar building blocks) in juices and concentrated sugar liquors found across three different industrial processes: (1) a cane sugar refinery's TALOTM clarification process, (2) a cane sugar factory's lime clarification process and (3) a sugarbeet factory's evaporation process. These oligosaccharides were compared to degradation products in industrial simulated model solutions. Numerous potential markers were identified across the sugar refinery TALOTM-clarification process, because acid degradation reactions prevailed there. In contrast, fewer oligosaccharide markers were identified in the sugarbeet evaporation process, where alkaline degradation reactions prevailed. Oligosaccharide formation in the cane sugar factory's lime clarification process was shown to be considerably higher in cane juice that had deteriorated due to freezing then warm weather conditions. Ion chromatography is, therefore, very useful to sugar industry technicians and researchers, to identify problems in process conditions and processed raw materials.

Technical Abstract: The most accurate determination of sucrose loss in sugar manufacturing and refining would be to analyse for a stable degradation product, that is a marker compound. Oligosaccharides are formed in the breakdown of sucrose under acid and alkaline conditions, and have strong potential as possible stable markers. Ion chromatography, using a strong sodium acetate/sodium hydroxide gradient method, was used to separate oligosaccharides (with up to 12 monosaccharide units or degrees of polymerizaiton) in juices and concentrated sugar liquors found in the sugar industry. Potential oligosaccharide degradation product markers, formed across a cane sugar refinery's TALO(TM)-clarificaiton process, a cane sugar factory's lime clarificaiton process and a sugarbeet factory's evaporation process are reported and discussed, and compared to degradation products in model study solutions. The model study sucrose degradation reactions were undertaken under simulated industrial conditions (65 deg Brix; constant pH 5.45-9.25; N2; 100 deg C).

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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