Sugarcane juice now viable option for farmers
Posted Thursday, July 26 2012 at 22:12
Farmers in areas without sugar mills can now grow the cane not for the sugar, but for its juice.
The Kenya Sugar Research Foundation (Kesref), has developed a machine that extracts juice from sugarcane as is done with mangoes and other fruits.
According to Kesref’s Mtwapa senior technologist John Gitau, extracted juice can be mixed with flavours from other substances to create a healthy drink.
“After extraction, cane juice can be flavoured with ginger, lemon, cinnamon and other substances that are readily available and it produces a very healthy drink,” Mr Gitau said.
The extraction of juice from sugarcane will go a long way in enhancing value addition for sugarcane.
“(The juice) is very nutritious because no component is removed from sugarcane when extracting the juice. All the minerals that are usually consumed in chewing cane are maintained,” said Mr Gitau during the Agricultural Society of Kenya’s annual show in Kisumu.
He said that the juice has minerals like iron and calcium.
After harvesting, the cane is washed and peeled then it is passed through an extractor that crushes and spins it to remove the juice, which is then mixed with a little water and flavours.
A half metre length cane can be produce up to two litres of the raw cane juice, which can be refrigerated for storage, as with other juices. Also, apart from the flavours, cane juice requires no additives or preservatives.
Kesref is currently working on making the machines available to farmers.
So far, there has not been a distinguished market for the cane juice as this is still a new concept that the sugar foundation is still trying to advocate for.