sugarcane

Introduction

ICAR-SBI has developed a process to produce a dry product of sugarcane juice having longer shelf life and suitable for commercial applications. The overall process involves freeze dried sugarcane juice product by employing freeze drying or lyophilization process to dry the filtered sugarcane juice followed by

  1. blending natural and permitted synthetic food flavours, colour, stabilizers, anti caking agents etc., (if needed)>
  2. applying dry extrusion to prepare dry extrudes,
  3. applying spheronization/ granulation on dry extrudes to produce spheroid/ granule product and
  4. packing the spheroid/granule product.

 

Technical description
            Freeze drying carried out at temperatures around -40 °C with 0.5 mTorr or lesser vacuum with or without addition of other agents dry product is obtained in about 12 to 48 h depending on the capacity of the freeze dryer used. Dried product is highly hygroscopic and glistening flaky or dry lumps in nature, with a water activity of about 0.3 aw. The critical problem associated with freeze dried product is very low moisture content, poor flow ability and high hygroscopicity leads to agglomeration and formation of lumps when stored in ambient conditions and exposure to atmospheric air. This can be improved marginally by adding certain permitted substances like silicate, sucrose, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol etc. However, addition of other substances not generally preferred and these substances will dilute the sugarcane juice. To get better quality product the dried freeze dried product is compacted manually or by employing machinery like dry extruder to produce dry extrudes. The dry extrudes are granulated by manual sieving or by mechanized spheronizer, the product made by manual compaction and sieving will result in uniform high quality granulated product. This granulated product can be produced as per the requirement; however a 0.5 to 3.0 mm spheroid diameter may be preferred for regular sweetener or instant juice use. This granulated product has low hygroscopicity, low lump formation, good flow ability and better shelf life when stored in moisture proof containers. The dry product can be stored about six months under ambient conditions and about two years if stored under refrigerated conditions. Compositional analysis indicated that freeze dried powder had retained flavour components, sugars, protein, ash, minerals, vitamins, phenol, flavonoids and antioxidant activity compared to fresh juice. Organoleptic test indicated that granulated freeze dried product is comparable with fresh sugarcane juice. The above process described is unique in its kind and the product is an attractive proposition to replace the commercially available unhealthy synthetic chemical based soft drinks.

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