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Scientists Develop Method to Extend the Shelf Life of Sugarcane Juice Up to 90 Days

Researchers at Sugarcane Breeding Institute Regional Centre, Karnal have developed a technique to increase the shelf life of sugarcane juice while also retaining its aroma and flavor.

Laavanya Arya
Sugarcane Breeding Institute Regional Centre, Karnal
Sugarcane Breeding Institute Regional Centre, Karnal

Sugarcane Breeding Institute Regional Centre, Karnal, has claimed to have developed a process that will increase the shelf life of sugarcane juice to 90 days at 4 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature of conventional refrigerators. Dr SK Pandey, the institute's director, confirmed the technology's advancement.

According to the institute, scientists have standardised the technique that allows the juice to be stored in bottles, ensuring availability during the off-season.

"The technique was developed by a team led by Dr Pooja Dhansu, Senior Scientist of Plant Physiology," Pandey said. They have begun work on juice packaging. Soon, the juice will be available at the institute's sales counter even during the offseason."

According to experts, sugarcane juice quickly ferments as its colour changes from green to brown, rendering it unfit for consumption. However, the scientists at the institute claimed that the technique they developed would not only extend the shelf-life but would also preserve the taste, aroma, and colour.

Pandey believes that the process could lead to a revolution in the small-scale juice industries by ensuring the availability of high-quality cane juice in areas where the crop is not grown.

Dr. Dhansu claims that with this technology, juice can be preserved with minimal changes in physicochemical properties (pH, TSS per cent, titrable acidity, reducing sugar, total sugar) and sensory qualities (colour, appearance, flavour, and overall acceptability), all while limiting microbial growth.

She explained that they had worked on two processes, "The first is streaming, which increased the shelf life of cane juice by up to 30 days at 4°C without the addition of any preservatives or blended flavours. In the second process, 100 parts per million potassium metabisulphite were added to increase shelf life to 90 days at 4°C.”

The first is streaming, which increased the shelf life of cane juice by up to 30 days at 4°C without the addition of any preservatives or blended flavours.

The second process included the addition of 100 ppm potassium metabisulphite to extend the shelf life to 90 days at 4°C. — Dr. Pooja Dhansu, plant physiology senior scientist.

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