Panela Monitor

Descripción de un proceso tecnificado para la elaboración de piloncillo a partir de caña de azúcar

This paper describes a technical process to make unrefined brown sugar from sugarcane juice maintaining the characteristics of the traditional process with the purpose of keeping the identity of the product, considering it a natural food with minimum processing. A semi-continuous process has been developed to make the unrefined sugar, keeping its original quality and characteristics for human consumption. The process consists of three stages: Extraction of juice from sugarcane, a juice clearing and concentration stage, and the molding of "piloncillo" blocks/cones. The hardness of "piloncillo" is one of the most important characteristics since it rates the quality of the product, and it is directly linked to the concentration of Direct Reducing Sugars (ARD) during the process. Applying very high temperatures for long periods of time may result in a significant increase of the ARD concentration. A close relation between ARD concentration and "piloncillo" hardness indicated that the lower the ARD concentration the harder "piloncillo" is.

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