Fresh Juice, Syrup, Ethanol and Other Products from Sweet Sorghum

Yet another no-waste crop, sweet sorghum.

Engr. Tony and Doris Arcangel of Bapamin Enterprises, Batac, Ilocos Norte thru Mag-Agri Tayo shared the products they are producing out of sweet sorghum. They are the following:

Fresh juice. A sweet extract gathered after passing the harvested stalks via mechanical presser.  Fresh extract can be drink as is, concentrated or mixed to other juice of different type.

Ethyl alcohol – They are bottling them as sanitizer for personal and hospital use. They are also willing to venture into large scale ethanol production if there will be an investor support on part of planting additional sweet sorghum crops. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is a by-product of yeast activity. Under anaerobic condition the yeast consume sugar resulting to release of carbon dioxide and alcohol. The initial product is distilled once to several times depending on required concentration and purity.

Sweet Sorghum Syrup – They are claiming it as healthy and comparable to supplementary vitamin.  Syrup is made by evaporating some moisture component thru heating. Depending on sugar content, it may be classified as light, medium and heavy.

Vinegar. A resulting product when the ethanol or wine is contaminated with acetic acid bacteria or intentionally added with. The ethyl alcohol produced by yeast activity is converted to acetic acid in presence of oxygen.

They are also selling sweet sorghum grains and seeds and on the track in making flour for gluten-free bread. Sorghum is a no-waste commodity. Bagasse  can befermented as high moisture fodder that can be fed to ruminants or used as biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters.

Their main products is are marketed under the brand name Healtika. Their product research, development and marketing continues thru the help of Mariano Marcos Statte University (MMSU), Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

source: mag-agri tayo via: da-bar and youtube

Trying the Odd Cold Sugar Preservation Method on Balimbing Fruits

When I said cold sugar preservation, it literally mean trying to preserve balimbing in sugar or sugar solution under refrigerated temperature. Sounds crazy?

Sugar preserves food by making the water in… unavailable for microbial growth. The water molecules are still inside but are bound to sugar particles and cannot be grabbed by microbes. Cold temperature slows down the fruit natural physiological process resulting to extended shelf life. However, my target is to make it shelf stable  after taking out of fridge.

Here are the balimbing and balimbing slices drenched in white sugar crystals before refrigeration. Fruits are not visible as they are completely covered with sugar.

fresh balimbing in sugar crystalswhite sugar on pp boxHere are the balimbing and balimbing slices soaked in 60 °Brix sugar solution before refrigeration.

fresh balimbing in 60 syrupbalimbing slices in 60 brix sugarIt is expected, the sugar granules / syrup will draw out the water from fruit rapidly, resulting to individual cell collapse and fruit collapse in the end. The right thing to do is soak it in series of increasing syrup concentration. This facilitates the slow travel of syrup in and out thus maintaining fruit shape.

I want a shortcut balimbing and balimbing slices soaked in strong syrup / sugar crystals. Storing it in refrigerator might slow down the process of sugar and liquid exchange and maintains fruit shape.

After few days, the results of thin balimbing slices soaked in heavy syrup and sugar crystals. The slices shriveled as the sugar drew out the fruit water. It became chewy, sour and slightly sweet. It is not the result I wanted however.

syrup heavy balimbing slicesliquified sugar shrivelled balimbing slices starThe results of balimbing slices in heavy syrup and sugar. Only the two cut ends were shriveled. Almost 90 percent of the fruit was still plumb. Looks promising but I am sure it will get all shriveled if left stored longer.


Update as of February 26, 2013

The whole balimbing in syrup. Gained faded color and firm texture but no improvement in organoleptic properties.

balimbing syrup after storageThe whole balimbing in sugar crystal. Almost the same as above but there are fungi growth on top. Sensory tasting is not possible.

mold growth on balimbing sugar

The Kaskaron and the Thick Santol Peels Syrup

This little crazy experiment was conducted for two purposes.

Previously, I made santol peels candy, a product similar to dried mango. It tasted great. I liked it. My dear, two nieces and our young boy liked it too. The youngest ate the most.

Cynthia tried cooking her own. She said it tasted really good.

In the latter part, I mentioned, the cooking syrup can be diluted to juice, mixed with other juice or be used for the next batch of peel candy – do the MATH and adjust sugar percentage.

The syrup taste great. It has consistency similar to honey, as sweet as honey but has more kick of acidity.  What if I make it more concentrated? At the same, I wanted to try kaskaron – glutenous rice balls cooked in very thick sugar cane syrup. The said delicacy was featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho.

I weighed 50 grams rice flour. It’s not glutenous. It just got it from our rice flour stock – for making rice milk. Added water while mixing until it reached the dough like consistency. Then formed to 13 pieces balls about the size of a marble. I took out the santol peel syrup. It’s about 100 ml. Placed it in pan. Set the flame to very low. Dropped the rice balls when the syrup became bubbly. And let the rice cooked for about 15 minutes.

About rice balls/kaskaron. A golden yellow appearance with several large cracks. Sweet outside but bland inside. It was tough hard, a texture similar to old steamed rice – bahaw. It’s obvious that it did not absorb enough water. Maybe the taste and texture were better if I used glutenous rice instead.

kaskaron like rice balls in syrup

About the concentrated syrup.  The taste was a delectable sweet and sour combination. It was too concentrated and not fitted for a jelly classification. The texture was similar to inuyat/ginaok , a very thick syrup packed in used milk cans.  Shorter boiling time could have made it a delicious jam.

thickened santol peels syrup inuyat

I think I can polish a santol peels jelly recipe next time.

How to Make Mango Slices in Syrup

Fully mature, unripe mangos are ripened in the cannery to optimum canning ripeness. Mangos high in flavour, with more flesh and low in fibre are always recommended for canning.

Sound ripe mangos are soaked in antiseptic and water, brush washed and then conveyed to the preparation tables and hand peeled. “Cheeks” of the peeled mangos are sliced off and longitudinally cut into two or three slices. Side cuts are packed separately. Slices are then conveyed to the filling tables where they are graded for size, colour and maturity and filled into sterile cans. Filled cans are syruped, steam exhausted, sealed, processed in boiling water, cooled, labelled and packaged.

Stones with the left over flesh are steamed and pulped and the pulp thus obtained is packed as such or converted into mango juice or nectar.


A more detailed procedure can be found here.