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Evaluation of the effect of combined storage techniques on the preservation of industrial sugars from sugar beets for bioproducts

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131620707,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Juan M. Vargas-Ramirez, Darrin M. Haagenson, Dennis P. Wiesenborn
Keywords:   Feedstock storage; modified atmosphere storage; senescence inhibitor antimicrobial agent temperature.

Abstract. Sugar beets are a major source of sucrose which may be converted into bioproducts. Sugar beets are conventionally stored frozen in open piles for up to 6 mo. in the North Central Red River Valley which is characterized by extreme winter conditions. Nevertheless, freezing enhances the rupture of cell walls thus making cell contents susceptible to leaching during beet thawing, a step that requires large quantities of water and energy. Therefore, alternative storage techniques are desired to preserve industrial sugars from sugar beets and allow yearlong operation of bioprocessing facilities. The focus of this research was to evaluate the combined effectiveness of beet surface treatment and storage techniques such as modified atmosphere storage at two storage temperatures on the retention of industrial sugars in sugar beets. The surface treatments evaluated consisted of one senescence inhibitor and two antimicrobial agents applied independently to the beet surface. The senescence inhibitor used was N6-benzylaminopurine and the antimicrobial agents were acetic acid and a commercial product with 40% to 50% acidic calcium sulfate as its active ingredient (pHresh 10.0®). The senescence inhibitor was applied at concentrations of 0.05% and 0.1% (w w-1) whereas the antimicrobial agents were applied at concentrations of 0.1% and 1% (w w-1). An ambient atmosphere and an initially modified atmosphere were assessed for storage. The modified atmosphere consisted of 5.11±0.02% CO2 and 5.47±0.04% O2 (v v-1) balanced with N2. The experimental units were stored at either 4°C or 25°C for 24 wk. After storage, beet-tissue samples were collected from each unit and analyzed for moisture and sugar content. Multiple comparisons of means indicated that surface treatments and temperature did not constitute a significant benefit on sugar preservation (at α=0.05) in beets stored under aerobic conditions. Sugar beets stored under an initially modified atmosphere and at 4°C and 25°C lost up to 28% and 35% of initial sugars, respectively, without a statistically significant difference at α=0.05. Atmosphere composition did not constitute an additional benefit on industrial sugar preservation (at α=0.05).

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