Pre milling cane preparation for high sugar recovery and reduction of post harvest losses in sugarcane

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Pre milling preparation of canes was done by two methods and the effect of these methods on sugar recovery and post harvest quality changes during storage were studied under two environmental conditions i.e February and April. In method one cane was topped by sickle without removal of any internode, while in method II, tops along with 3-4 internodes were removed by sickle/hand. More extraction %, Purity, pol % cane and less reducing sugars were present in fresh canes prepared by method II as compared to method I. Storage of harvested sugarcane prepared by both the methods for six days resulted in decrease in cane weight, extraction %, purity, pol % cane with increase in the invert sugars, activities of enzymes invertases and dextran regardless the envirenmental condition. Percent loss in extraction, purity, pol % cane, percent gain in reducing % brix and their rate of change per day was found to be more in method I than method II. Similarly increase in activities of both acid and neutral invertases as well as dextran were also found higher in method I as compared to method II. Therefore the present study indicated that method II for preparation of canes for milling was superior over the method I since higher sugar recovery and less post harvest deterioration was found in canes prepared by method II as compared to canes prepared by method I.

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