Potentialities of HPP in the preservation of sugarcane juice

Potentialities of HPP in the preservation of sugarcane juice

Asia and South America are the worldwide main producers of sugarcane making this juice a popular beverage. In fact, cane juice is a refreshing and health-promoting drink. It is typically sold by street vendors that freshly squeeze the juice for immediate consumption due to its high perishability and challenging preservation. High Pressure Processing (HPP) is a non-thermal technology capable to maintain its natural attributes throughout refrigerated storage. It prevents the changes induced by thermal methods, whilst delivering a safe product and extending the shelf life to expand to new markets worldwide.

Sugarcane juice, a health-promoting beverage

Sugarcane is a crop with great versatility and purposes worldwide. It is one of the world’s major crops and provides 70% of the world sugar content. Subsequently, it is one of the principal economic activities in Brazil and India. In addition, this raw material can be used to manufacture a variety of products, not just sugar and cane molasses, but also a very flavourful and sweet beverage. Cane juice is, indeed, a very popular and ancient beverage that is easily obtained at roadside stalls throughout Asia. Besides, it is an excellent source of energy, antioxidants, and minerals. This is a diuretic beverage that helps the proper functioning of the kidneys, strengthens the liver, and allows to maintain the bloods’ sugar levels in equilibrium.

However, due to its high sugar content, the fresh juice is highly perishable and undergoes fermentation immediately after being produced. Furthermore, it develops a brown color and sour taste within a few hours. Because of this, efforts have been made in order to preserve its fresh quality through storage. High pressure processing (HPP) shows tremendous potential as a conservation technique for sugarcane juice. This non-thermal technique maintains the organoleptic and nutritional profile of freshly squeezed juice, while delivering a safe product with an extended shelf life under refrigerated conditions (Fig.1).

Figure 1. HPP benefits for juices and beverages.

Figure 1. HPP benefits for juices and beverages.

The preservation challenges of such a delicate beverage

Sugarcane juice is rich in bioactive compounds, highlighting its content in iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins, and phytonutrients. It has a unique color that ranges from light grey to dark green. After its production, it quickly starts to deteriorate being the major quality loss due to enzymatic reactions, especially the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which causes changes in appearance, posing a major problem to its commercialization. Also, the unprocessed sugarcane juice has a normal pH ranging from 4.9 to 5.5, being prone to microbial contamination.

In order to stabilize it and obtain a better quality beverage during storage, this juice is usually mixed with more acidic juices, like lemon or lime juice. Thermal treatment is sufficient to inactivate the natural flora and spoilage enzymes present in sugarcane juice, however, it can adversely affect the delicate sensorial attributes of this beverage, imparting an undesirable jaggery flavor and color change.

High Pressure Processing as an effective method to preserve sugarcane juice

HPP is a minimal processing technology that preserves the organoleptic properties of food products and ensures safety by inactivating foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli, or Salmonella. This technology is very effective in preventing the damage of heat-sensitive components while maintaining the attributes of freshly squeezed cane juice. Additionally, it can be used to partially inactivate the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and other spoilage enzymes. Huang and colleagues evaluated the effects of HPP and thermal pasteurization in sugarcane juice during storage time under refrigeration (4 °C) and were able to see the potential of HPP in the development of cane juice. A pressure cycle at 600 MPa for 6 min extended the shelf-life for at least 28 days of storage, while antioxidants compounds were better retained when compared to thermal processing (Fig.2).

Figure 2: Total phenolic content present in untreated, high pressure processed and thermal pasteurized sugarcane juice, during storage time at 4°C. Adapted from Huan et al. 2015.

Figure 2: Total phenolic content present in untreated, high pressure processed, and thermal pasteurized sugarcane juice, during storage time at 4°C. Adapted from Huan et al. 2015.

In addition, in terms of taste and natural flavor, there were no noticeable differences between the fresh juice and the HPP counterpart, whereas the thermally treated juice reduced its consumer acceptance.

Other studies, obtained similar results, moreover, with heat treatment, the shelf-life was estimated to be 10 days notwithstanding the HPP cane juice had a life of 25 days, under refrigerated storage, based on sensory qualities.

Successful cases of commercial HPP sugarcane juice

Accompanied by the expansion of HPP technology in the Asian market, Raw Pressery and Second Nature saw the perfect opportunity to preserve the delicate characteristics of sugarcane juice. The successful case of Raw Pressery in India that started as a small startup is impressive. They were pioneers of the technology in India, back in 2015, and were able to create a strong brand that faced the competitive market dominated by pasteurized beverages and freshly squeezed juice from street vendors. Currently, they have three HPP systems and commercialize sugarcane juice, flavored with lemon and ginger juice (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Sugarcane juice commercialized by Raw Pressery.

Figure 3: Sugarcane juice commercialized by Raw Pressery.

Second Nature in India, a brand of Freshtrop Fruits Limited, was launched in 2018 with a vision to supply highly nutritious food products with minimal loss of natural taste and flavor. It is well-known for its quality and long-standing relationships with Global GAP certified growers. They supply high quality and nutritious products. Additionally, they export juice worldwide, and trust in HPP technology to deliver natural and safe products. Moreover, today they are able to commercialize sugarcane juice without any preservatives or colorants (Fig 4).

Figure 4: Sugarcane juice commercialized by Second Nature, and their HPP Hiperbaric machine facilities.

Figure 4: Sugarcane juice commercialized by Second Nature, and their HPP Hiperbaric machine facilities.

Contact us if you want to know more about the multiple benefits of HPP, we will more than happy to assist you personally.

22 thoughts on “Potentialities of HPP in the preservation of sugarcane juice

  1. What will be the maximum shelf life one can get sugarcane juice duly processed under HPP? What will be the recommending refrigerating temp under which finished products need to transport/store to get maximum shelf life?

    • Hi Sunil,

      It is recommended to transport and storage processed sugarcane juice under refrigeration, in order, to maximize the shelf-life obtained. Accordingly to the product characteristics and processing conditions, it can be expected a shelf-life of 45-60 days, pretty similar to other products such as coconut water, for instance.

      Hiperbaric Team

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment, it seems your machinery and our HPP units could be part of the same production line for sugar cane juices.

      Hiperbaric Team

  2. I run a sugarcane juice business and shelf life has been a major headache for me. How do I access this technology

    • Thanks for your comment. HPP is undoubtedly a great ally to solve shelf life problems. As we have answered to one previous comment, depending on the product characteristics and processing conditions the expected shelf-life for HPP sugar cane juice might be 45-60 days in refrigeration conditions.

      We have contacted you privately regarding the access to this technology.

      Hiperbaric Team

  3. I m really impressed with the new development. I’m a natural Juices vendor in Bauchi, Nigeria. Willing to acquire more knowledge. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your comment. We are glad you like the content. We are at your disposal to assist you regarding HPP technology and its multiple applications.

      Hiperbaric Team

  4. I want to start Sugarcane Juice Bottling plant per day cap. 2000 liters in 10 hours. You are therefore requested to please send your lowest prices for the required machineries.

  5. I am keen to know about application of HPP on sugarcane juice. Being a startup on adding value to sugarcane.
    I am based at Ambala ,Haryana.

  6. I have sugarcane juice bussiness .Now I want to start sugarcane bottling plant .I requested to send for the required machine. I belong to haryana distt fatehabad city tohana pin 125120.
    Thanks and regards
    Harpal singh 9356476303

    • Hi Harpal,

      Thanks for your comment. HPP is a great option to start producing sugarcane juice at an industrial scale, since it allows to offer a natural, safe, never-heated and with a long shelf life product while keeping all its nutritional and organoleptic properties. We have contacted you via email to assist you personally regarding our HPP systems.

      Hiperbaric Team

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