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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Postharvest Quality and Processing of Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum for Sugar and Ethanol Production Title: The measurement of mannitol in sugar beet factories to monitor deterioration and processing problems

Authors
item Eggleston, Gillian
item Huet, Jean-Marc -

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2011
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Citation: Eggleston, G., Huet, J. 2012. The measurement of mannitol in sugar beet factories to monitor deterioration and processing problems. In: Proceedings of the European Society of Sugar Technologists Biennial meeting, May 29-June 1, 2011, in Bratislava, Slovakia. p. 97-106.

Interpretive Summary: Mannitol is a chemical formed by bacteria when sugar beet deteriorates, and is a very sensitive indicator of sugar beet deterioration that can predict processing problems. A rapid, easy and inexpensive enzymatic (enzymes are chemicals that speed up reactions) method has been developed to measure mannitol in juice pressed from sugarbeets at the factory. This method has become an Official International Standardized Method. A description of how mannitol is currently being successfully used in numerous sugar beet factories in Europe and the US are described.

Technical Abstract: Sugar beet deterioration can still be a major technological constraint in processing. The major (but not sole) contributor to deterioration in many countries, particularly when warm and humid conditions prevail, is infection by hetero-fermentative Leuconostoc mesenteroides lactic acid bacteria. In recent years it has emerged that mannitol is a major product of L. mesenteroides deterioration of sugar beet and a sensitive marker that can predict processing problems. How mannitol and dextran formation are related is described. An enzymatic factory method that is rapid, simple, accurate, and inexpensive is now available to measure mannitol in juices and is also applicable to downstream products. The method recently became an Official ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods in Sugar Analysis) method GS8-12 “The Determination of Mannitol in Beet Juices, Thin Juices and Syrups by an Enzymatic Method.” Numerous factories in Europe, including France, Germany, Belgium, and Poland are now using the method to monitor for Leuconostoc activity in beets, press water, raw, and thin juices. In two Belgian factories steam disinfections of juice/cossettes heat exchangers are applied when critical levels (>160 mg/L) of mannitol are detected. At a German factory, heaters are treated regularly with sodium hydroxide when mannitol content becomes greater than 50-60 mg/L. In numerous French factories, mannitol levels are helping to control filtration difficulties. Mannitol balances undertaken by Groupement D’Exchanges Techniques during the 2009 beet campaign are discussed.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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