Post harvest quality deterioration in sugarcane under different environmental conditions

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Post harvest changes in the juice quality parameters in relation to storage time were investigated in three sugarcane genotypes varying in maturity behaviour viz.CoJ83 (early), CoJ88 (mid) and S70/00(late) under different environmental conditions i.e in the month of November, January and March. A gradual decrease in cane weight, % juice extraction, sucrose (% juice), purity (% juice) and pH with simultaneous increase in TSS%, titrable acidity, dextran, reducing sugars and activities of acid and neutral invertases was found in juice during 12 days of cane storage in all genotypes under all environmental conditions. Irrespective of the genotype and environmental condition, the level of neutral invertase was found to be higher as compared to acid invertase except in genotype S70/00, where higher activity of acid invertase was found as compared to neutral invertase during the month of November. The rate of decrease/increase per day of all the quality parameters on staling was highest during the late crushing period i.e. March than during November and January in all genotypes. More deterioration in quality parameters was found in genotype CoJ83 during March and in genotype S70/00 during November, which may be due to their over mature and immature conditions, respectively, at that time. Hence, the variation in the rate of change in quality parameters during staling may be attributed to the difference in maturity level among genotypes during these three months.

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