Location: Commodity Utilization ResearchTitle: Diversification in the nexus of sugar production, environmental stewardships, and sustainable agriculture
Submitted to: International Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/21/2022
Publication Date: 10/4/2022
Citation: Uchimiya, S.M. 2022. Diversification in the nexus of sugar production, environmental stewardships, and sustainable agriculture. International Sugar Journal. 124(1486):608-613.
Interpretive Summary: Circular economy is the current priority across U.S. commodity producers and processors. This paper will guide sugar producers, factory operators, and marketers how an example model system (based on processing byproducts) will help achieve this goal. Particular focus will be given to solid byproduct that has not found a routine industrial usage historically. Comparison will be made with other commodity sectors within the U.S. to serve as the model to accomplish sustainability goals.
Technical Abstract: Sugar industry has a potential to lead circular economy within the nexus of sustainable nutrient cycles, environmental protection, and soil health in the coming decades. Sustainable production and consumer safety are the key captioning messages to the emerging health-conscious consumers rapidly expanding by proactive approaches to health after the COVID-19. Organic byproducts from sugar processing, e.g., mill mud, meet all criteria for consumer acceptance to replace fossil-based soil amendments. Organic waste-to-biofertilizer concept of mill muds will offer a real world message, beyond UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, to diversified, sustainability-aware and health-conscious consumers. Biofertilizer and biostimulants could be developed, tested, and deployed from mill mud to enhance soil health and nutrient use efficiency within the framework of best management practice adoption. This perspective will explore technological and logistic challenges and opportunities, in comparison to other commodity products, in sustainable sugar production with a specific focus on processing byproducts.