“Quickmove” minimises processing problems caused by microbial contamination in sugar beets
In the run-up to the sugar beet campaign, SternEnzym GmbH & Co. KG in Ahrensburg offers the sugar industry a new enzyme compound that comprehensively solves the problem of microbial contamination in sugar beets. The presence of the microbially formed polysaccharides dextran and levan more and more often causes problems during sugar production. During and after harvesting, microorganisms produce these polysaccharides from the sucrose present in beet juices. The new agent “Sugazym Quickmove” developed by the enzyme designers eliminates the processing problems associated with the presence of dextran and levan. This way, the use of Sugazym Quickmove ensures a trouble-free sugar production and enhances the final sugar quality.
It is a well-known fact that the presence of polysaccharides can cause diverse negative effects during sugar production from beet. This particularly concerns polysaccharides formed by microorganisms after the harvest. The extent of microbial contamination in sugar beets is influenced by several factors. Apart from long storage periods and the amount of injuries on the beet surface, especially climatic conditions play an important role. This also implies that the quality of sugar beets is more and more often impaired by weather extremes.
Freeze-thaw cycles as well as drought cause beet cell damages and thus enable microbial contamination. In particular, the increasing drought in recent years has caused a higher occurrence of microbial polysaccharides, which affect the quality and processing of sugar beet juices. Especially last year, considerable problems occurred, indicating that drought has become a more and more significant factor.
The resulting presence of dextran and levan in beet juices causes an increase in viscosity, which in turn slows down filtration and crystallization. In particular, the slime formed by the microorganisms impedes the flow of the sugar juice during filtration, which then affects the subsequent processing steps as well. In the worst case, the filter machines are completely blocked. Apart from the well-known effects on the viscosity, sugar crystal deformation has also been associated with the presence of dextran and levan; this, too, leads to a serious loss of quality.
Due to the increasing significance of this problem in the sugar industry, SternEnzym’s applications research team at the Stern-Technology Center in Ahrensburg conducted a comprehensive study about microbial contamination in sugar beets. Thereby, samples from different sugar beet factories were analyzed with regard to their microorganism profile, which permitted conclusions about the existing polysaccharides. In doing so, the target was to find an effective agent against the metabolites of all potential microorganisms. Based on numerous tests, the enzyme compound “Sugazym Quickmove” was developed.
This compound is capable of hydrolysing problematical polysaccharides such as dextran and levan and thus removing them from the sugar production process. Timely use of the enzyme compound in the cossette mash can eliminate the above-mentioned problems of increased viscosity and crystal deformation during the process. This can already be achieved using a relatively low enzyme dosage of only 5 ppm and an incubation time of 10 to 20 minutes. The company has applied for a patent for this development. The current SternEnzym product range will be presented at FIE 2019 at the Paris Exhibition Centre in Hall 06, Stand D90.