rharrison922 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 11 23:19:01 EDT 2009
Good question! I have a friend in LA who makes sugarcane syrup from USDA experiments that commonly have a brix of 24 or so---which is somewhat astronomical to me----(but it also depends on the moisture level of the soil--affecting the moisture level of the juice inside the sugarcane stalks). He gets about a 5:1 or 4:1 ratio!
So how can this be? Answer: syrup is NOT simply sugar and water. That is an over-simplification. Syrup has LOTS of ingredients that most folks don't ever think about. Fiber is an ingredient, for example, that is frequently overlooked. The most prevalent sugar in sugarcane is sucrose, but it can also contain glucose and especially fructose. Also, there is some starch and other things contained in the syrup---too many to name. (I don't even know what all is in it.)
Some varieties of cane that have a brix of say 14, make a great syrup which doesn't crystalize as easily as say a variety with a brix of 20+. That's why some of the old heirloom varieties like GA Red is grown for syrup, not just chewing. The newer commercial varieties may require an additive like corn syrup to prevent appreciable crystalization. Lemon juice is sometimes used, too.
So suffice it to say that sugarcane syrup may not be quite as simple as it may sound---althought the processing is quite simple.
Richard Harrison, NW FL
--- On Sun, 10/11/09, Lon J. Rombough <lonrom at hevanet.com> wrote:
From: Lon J. Rombough <lonrom at hevanet.com>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] syrups.
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 9:47 PM
What's the sugar content of the fresh cane juice? With that ratio of juice to syrup it must be at least 25 to 30 degrees Brix.
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On Oct 11, 2009, at 7:18 PM, Richard Harrison wrote:
I grow 2 acres of sugarcane in North Florida and make syrup----100% sugarcane syrup. It's expensive to make. A heavy mill is needed to efficiently press the juice from the stalks and then cookware to process the juice into syrup can add expense if making more than a gallon of syrup at a time. The processing rate is about 7 gallons of juice to 1 gallon of syrup, on average.
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