Post-harvest decline in commerical cane sugar and its relationship with quality parameters in sugarcane under sub-tropical climate

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One of the major reasons for low sugar recovery in Indian sub tropics is inordinate delay between harvesting and milling. The effect of staling duration, during various temperatures regimes of cane harvest, on juice quality and other related biochemical attributes in two commercial sugarcane varieties under sub tropical climate were investigated. It was aimed to work out a relationship of commercial cane sugar (CCS) with other quality parameters. Barring dextran and total phenol content most of the parameters studied in the varieties were non-significant. Time of harvest i.e. December through April. induced significant variations in most of the parameters studied except for extraction %, pH and total phenols. Duration of staling also caused significant variations in almost all the parameters studied. Significant higher alterations in juice parameters from freshly harvested and stale canes were noticed in April due to relatively higher ambient temperatures. In essence, decline in CCS with staling duration in both the varieties, extraction per cent, sucrose % juice and purity coefficient were highly significant and positively correlated, whereas loss in cane weight, reducing sugars, dextran contents and acid invertase activity were negatively correlated (at 1 % P). Thus both of these parameters i.e. sucrose % juice and reducing sugars could be utilized to predict the loss in commercial cane sugar during post-harvest deteroration of sugarcane.

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