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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325696

Research Project: Developing Technologies that Enable Growth and Profitability in the Commercial Conversion of Sugarcane, Sweet Sorghum, and Energy Beets into Sugar, Advanced Biofuels, and Bioproducts

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Limiting sucrose loss in Louisiana raw sugar factories: Are biocides necessary?

Author
item BOONE, STEPHANIE
item Klasson, K Thomas
item ST CYR, ELDWIN
item MONTES, BELISARIO - ALMA PLANTATION, LLC
item PONTIFF, KEVIN - LAFOURCHE SUGAR, LLC - US
item LEGENDRE, DUANE - LAFOURCHE SUGAR, LLC - US
item WRIGHT, MAUREEN

Submitted to: International Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2016
Publication Date: 4/14/2017
Citation: Boone, S., Klasson, K.T., St Cyr, E., Montes, B., Pontiff, K., Legendre, D., Wright, M. 2017. Limiting sucrose loss in Louisiana raw sugar factories: Are biocides necessary? International Sugar Journal. 119(1420):288-293.

Interpretive Summary: Sucrose deterioration takes place post-harvest in sugarcane, and is a significant problem for the sugar industry. In Louisiana, sucrose deterioration occurs while sugarcane is stock piled in mill yards and in overnight truck sleeper loads. Commercial biocides are used during cane processing to reduce sugarcane juice degradation, however the effectiveness of biocide application during factory processing is unknown. This study evaluated three different biocides, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), carbamate and Humulone (Hops), in two different Louisiana raw sugar factories during cane juice processing. Results indicated that cane juice was exposed to biocides for less than 10 minutes. Factory study results also showed that microorganism growth in factory cane juice varied with juice temperature, and the greatest reduction in microbe growth was during juice clarification. Bleach reduced microorganism growth by two logs, carbamate and humulone compounds had no effect on microbe growth as compared with controls. Discontinuing usage of the biocides tested (carbamate, hops and bleach) is not recommended, because more research is needed in this area.

Technical Abstract: Sucrose deterioration takes place post-harvest in sugarcane, and is a significant problem for the sugar industry. In Louisiana, the majority of sucrose destruction occurs when cane is stock piled in mill yards and during overnight truck sleeper loads. Biocides are used in Louisiana raw sugarcane factories to reduce biological deterioration, but few studies have investigated biocide usage during factory operation using cane juice retention times in pipes and tanks, or cane grinding rates. This study incorporated juice flow rates by using factory tank and pipe retention times. Three different biocides, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), carbamate and Humulone (Hops), were evaluated at two different Louisiana raw sugar factories during processing. Retention times in factories indicated that juice was exposed to biocides for less than 10 minutes. Factory study results showed that microorganism growth in factory cane juice varied with juice temperature, and the greatest reduction in microbe growth was during juice clarification. Bleach reduced microorganism growth by two logs, carbamate and humulone compounds had no effect on microbe growth as compared with controls. Discontinuing usage of the biocides tested (carbamate, hops and bleach) is not recommended. More research is needed in the area to determine if continuous biocide application is practical and effective during raw sugar factory operation. Study findings also emphasize the need for consistent, rigorous factory sanitation, and good cane yard hygiene.