Partial list of

Sugar Processing Research Institute, Inc.

Accomplishments

 

Developed the Tentative – ICUMSA Method (2010) Floc Prediction in Refined White Cane Sugar:  The SPRI Rapid Floc Test.  This method is a rapid test to predict floc formation in refined white cane sugar.

Developed the Tentative – ICUMSA Method GS1-17 (2005) The Determination of Starch in Raw Sugar by the SPRI Rapid Starch Test.  This method measures starch in raw sugar as a blue starch-iodine complex.  The method is applicable to all process samples but is specifically applied to raw cane sugar.

Development of a simple and rapid dextran test for cane sugar mills; test is used routinely in cane mills around the world.

Developed the Official AOAC Robert’s copper method for dextran in raw sugar. This method is specified in the Savannah contract fordextran in raw sugar. It is an accurate method that can measure small or large quantities of dextran throughout all the sugar manufacturing process.

Conducted in-mill studies on dextranase enzyme, showing that it can be used when needed to ameliorate dextran problems as they arise.

S.P.R.I. was in the forefront of collecting information about dextran – its sources and causes, its effects, its measurement, methods to prevent it – and took a very active role in educating growers and processes about the problem.

Extensive studies on starch in cane sugar processing, starting with showing the wide range of starch concentration in cane varieties. This information is now used in the cane breeding program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Louisiana. Improved an existing starch method. The study of starch in Louisiana raw sugars also led to the use of amylase enzymes to ameliorate the starch problem.

Extensive cane varietal studies in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Louisiana to show varietal differences in content of important minor components, including polysaccharides, starch, dextran content (indicating Leuconostoc susceptibility), color,polyphenolics. lipids and proanthycyanidins.

Early structural studies on the indigenous polysaccharides of the cane plant, which helped to explain the acid beverage floc phenomenon. Chromatographic studies have shown how these polysaccharide behave in process and their tendency to occlude in the crystal and lead to color formation on storage. Continued studies on these interesting polysaccharides has shown their interaction with polyphenolics and lipids, which may have future implications for their use in the neutraceutical business.

Extensive NIR studies on every aspect of cane and beet sugar processing, developing calibration curves and equations for the analysis of numerous components therein, such as, for example, pol, brix, sucrose, purity in cane juice, beet thin and thick juice; color in raw sugar, etc. At least 30 papers and presentations on this have been made in the last few years.

Recent studies on membrane filtration of cane sugar processing streams that has begun to elucidate the nature of the membrane fouling mechanism. It appears that this is a hitherto unrecognized phenomenon whereby the polysaccharides and colorants self-aggregate, producing large aggregates on the membrane surface. NMR studies have been done to show the nature of this material.

Elucidation of the role of oleanolic acid in acid beverage floc arising from beet sugar. The floc had previously been ascribed exclusively to saponin, but S.P.R.I. studies have shown that saponins are hydrolyzed in process, leaving oleanolic acid as the active floc-forming moiety in the presence of protein.

Extensive studies on the nature and structure of cane sugar colorants; studies on the high molecular weight colorants and quantitation of their tendency to go into the crystal, differentiation of colorants that go into crystal versus those that remain in the syrup coating on the outside; studies on the types of color removed by different adsorption media used in processing.

Identification of a high molecular weight polysaccharide-calcium sulfate complex in beet sugar processing that can go into the white sugar crystal.

Identification of many compounds in trace amounts (ppm and ppb) in cane and beet sugars. Knowledge of these compounds can help explain various phenomena, such as development of color in storage, good or off-flavors in products, or what type of polishing might be needed in a specific situation.

S.P.R.I. has the unique ability, unrivaled by any other group, to do an entire chemical screen on a sample, using various chromatographic techniques and GC/MS. This includes the quantitation of high molecular weight material, colorants, polysaccharides, dextran, starch, sugars (including sucrose, glucose, fructose, and the sugars of hydrolysis of any of the polysaccharides, as well oligosaccharides), ash, organic acids, amino acids, volatiles and polyphenolic acids.

Most recently, studies on improvement of membrane separation processes by use of high speed centrifugation to clean up the feed. Investigations have begun on the nature of the material removed.

S.P.R.I. has pioneered the work on flavor in sugar products, having identified numerous compounds responsible for the desirable flavors and odors; correlation of chemical composition with sensory analysis; identification and quantitation of off-flavor compounds in products. A lexicon (list of descriptive flavor terms) has been issued for flavors found in cane and beet sugar products, which is used by several sponsoring companies. Training from S.P.R.I. is available.

S.P.R.I. publications, both of the biannual conferences and of the biannual workshops are a treasure trove of gathered knowledge about every aspect of cane and beet sugar processing; they represent a vast storehouse of information.

Recent work has shown the contribution of individual trash components in cane harvesting on juice quality (color and turbidity).

S.P.R.I. has served as active liaison between AOAC and ICUMSA to assure that ICUMSA methods receive recognition by AOAC.

S.P.R.I. showed that the type of dextran found in beet sugar processing is the same as that found in cane, which means that the same procedures of analysis and prevention can be used.

Development of a simple, rapid starch test for use in cane mills, which has received recognition as an ICUMSA tentative Method.