Viability of an enzymatic mannitol method to predict sugarcane deterioration at factories

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The delivery of consignments of deteriorated sugarcane to factories can detrimentally affect multiple process units, and even lead to a factory shut-down. An enzymatic factory method was used to measure mannitol, a major degradation product of sugarcane Leuconostoc deterioration in the US, in press (consignment) and crusher juices collected across the 2004 processing season at a Louisiana factory. Weather conditions varied markedly across the season causing periods of the delivery of deteriorated sugarcane to the factory. A strong polynomial relationship existed between mannitol and haze dextran (R(2)=0.912) in press and crusher juices. Mannitol concentrations were usually higher than haze and monoclonal antibody dextran concentrations, which indicates: (i) the usefulness and higher sensitivity of mannitol to better predict sugarcane deterioration from Leuconostoc and other bacteria than dextran, and (ii) the underestimation by sugar industry personnel of the relatively large amounts of mannitol present in deteriorated sugarcane that can affect processing. Greater than ∼2500ppm/%Brix mannitol in juice predicts downstream processing problems. The enzymatic method is quantitative and could be used in a sugarcane payment formula. Approximately >300ppm/%Brix haze dextran in raw sugar indicated that the majority of the crystals were elongated. Approximately >600ppm/%Brix antibody dextran indicated when elongated crystals were predominant in the raw sugar. The enzymatic mannitol method underestimates mannitol in raw sugars.

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Food chemistry

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