Submitted to: Sugar Processing Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The recent increase of billeted cane being mechanically harvested in LA has often meant an increase in deteriorated cane being processed. Some of this deterioration in cane quality, i.e., the increase in associated trash (i.e. leaves, tops and field soil) is not necessarily a function of the newer harvest method, per se, but rather a function of mechanical harvesting in general. Further, there is the occurrence of sugar destruction in the cut cane between harvesting and crushing, regardless of the harvest system. There is a real need to establish new criteria for levels of deterioration in Louisiana cut cane, in order to better predict: 1) the quality of the cane to be processed and, 2) the effect on harvest methods and storage conditions. In this study, there were eight cane supply treatments, with samples taken on each day for four consecutive days before laboratory milling. Treatments included handcut (control) green and dburnt standing whole stalks taken from field plots each day. Soldier harvested burnt and green whole stalks were chosen to simulate cane from a heap or transloader stack each day. Burnt and green billeted cane were also taken to simulate cane from a billet wagon each day. Initial color for all cane treatments was associated with leaves and tops; color formed dramatically in the burnt billeted cane on storage time. Glucose and fructose were consistently greater in billeted than whole stalk cane. Dextran and oligosaccharide formation was also greater and more rapid in billeted cane than whole stalk cane, and concomitant with a decrease in pH. Billeted cane deterioration occurred earlier than in whole stalk cane, with burnt billeted cane deterioration more rapid and extensivethan in green billeted cane.