Printer Friendly

Control, prevent starch buildup in processed raw sugar and products.

In the field, sugarcane is collected by combine harvesters that chop the cane into pieces of about nine inches in length. Those pieces are shredded at the factory. Juice is extracted and clarified, evaporated, crystallized and centrifuged, resulting in brownish-yellow crystals called raw sugar and molasses. That nonfood-grade raw sugar is further melted, clarified, and crystallized into the white sugar found in supermarkets.

The nemesis of these sugar crystals is trash--impurities such as leaves and muddy soil that piggyback on sugarcane from the field into the factory. Environmental concerns have led to a shift away from burning cane in open fields to remove such trash. Processing green, unburnt cane results in excess starch in raw and refined sugars, molasses and food products. Trash makes processing and clarifying cane juice more difficult, causing problems that can hurt a company's bottom line.

Amylase is added during sugar processing in the United States to break down long chains of unwanted starch. USDA-ARS chemists conducted trials in three processing facilities with an amylase that was intermediate temperature-(IT) stable and in a concentrated form. They used diluted solutions of concentrated amylase to improve contact between the amylase and starch. When added to processing tanks in the factory, the solutions broke starch down into smaller, more manageable molecules.

One of the solutions tested contained concentrated IT-stable amylase diluted three-fold in water at the factory. When this solution was added at a dose of 2 parts per million (ppm) per ton of cane juice, starch breakdown was about 32%. When the dose was raised to 5 ppm per ton of cane juice, starch breakdown increased to 42%.

In addition, adding the amylase to the next-to-the-last evaporator, instead of the last evaporator as is traditionally done, improved starch breakdown even more. Another plus: Using diluted solutions of concentrated amylase is more cost-effective than using undiluted non-concentrated amylase.

The ARS recommendation that starch buildup can be better controlled or prevented by applying IT-stable amylase is being followed at several facilities in Louisiana. Further information. Gillian Eggleston, USDA-ARS Commodity Utilization Research Unit, Southern Regional Research Center, Room 2209, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70179: phone: 504-286-4446; fax: 504-286-4390; email:
COPYRIGHT 2011 Food Technology Intelligence, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Previous Article:Selected lactic acid bacteria may be starter cultures for amaranth-based sourdough.
Next Article:Develop a breakfast alternative using whole white sorghum and granola.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |