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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333720

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: Microbiology in the sugar industries

item Wright, Maureen

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2017
Publication Date: 6/22/2017
Citation: Wright, M. 2017. Microbiology in the sugar industries. In: Proceedings for the Advances in Sugar Crop Processing and Conversion Conference, March 15-18, 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana. p. 118-126.

Interpretive Summary: Microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, use sugars as a food source and cause contamination during processing of sugars for human consumption. These contaminating microorganisms are present in the environment (air, soil and water) and are carried into sugar processing mills with the harvested crops. This work describes unique features of individual microorganism types they may allow them to out-compete others in the sugar production process. Challenges to controlling contamination are addressed, as well as opportunities to control them.

Technical Abstract: The timeframe between harvest and final processing is thereby limited. Efforts to develop effective technologies to minimize microbial contamination are challenging because of the broad range of microbial types that can potentially contaminate sugar crops. Populations of microbes that prefer microenvironments, such as high temperature and high osmotic pressure, further exacerbate attempts to control microbes during sugar processing. Microorganisms found in juice also impact the potential to develop value-added uses for bagasse and other byproducts, including soil amendments, fuel, and animal feed. Challenges specific to microbial contamination of each sugar crop will be discussed, as well as the potential for targeted control.