Nutrient dense sugarcane

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum Linn.), is a perennial grass crop pertaining to the Poaceae family, has been harvested worldwide for its economical and medicinal valued products. The plant primarily cultivated for its juice from which sugar is processed.

The traditional growing cycle of sugar cane for production of sugar is from 12 to 18 months during which the following changes take place: an increase in stem relative to leaf; increase in concentration of total sugars in the juice; conversion of reducing sugars to sucrose; increasing lignification of the structural cell wall carbohydrates.

Germination in sugarcane is one of the most important factors contributing towards the quality and yield of the crop. To improve germination, healthy canes from irrigated field should be selected for planting.

The sugarcane plant produces a number of stalks that reach 3 to 7 metres (10 to 24 feet) high and bear long sword-shaped leaves. After approximately 12 months, the mature sugarcane is ready for harvest. Grower’s average four harvests from a single planting.

The fresh sugarcane culms are ground to obtain the refreshing sugarcane juice. It is highly nutritious, containing natural sugars, several minerals, vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, starch, phosphatides, and gums. Consuming 100 mL sugarcane releases, 40 kcal energy, 10 mg calcium, 1.1 mg iron, and 6 μg carotene in the body.

Potassium (K+) and chloride (Cl−) were the most abundant cation and anion in the sugarcane juice.

Basically, sugarcane comprises of 70 - 75% water, 13 - 15% sucrose, and 10 - 15% fibre. Approximately 9.8% of sugars were present in juice, and most sugar was sucrose (9.6%). The fibre consists of 43.3% cellulose, 23.8% hemicellulose, and 21.7% lignin.

The presence of the flavonoids, phenolic acids, and several other phenolic compounds in sugarcane, allows for an antioxidant activity of its syrup and juices. Researchers are also studying the possibility that eating sugarcane fiber can help people maintain a healthy weight, lose weight, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

All the colored components from sugarcane juice were classified into four major classes: Plant pigments, polyphenolic compounds, caramels, and degradation products of sugars condensed with amino derivatives.
Nutrient dense sugarcane

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