Technological quality of sweet sorghum processed without panicles for ethanol production
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Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is recognized as a promising biomass energy crop for meeting the increasing demand for bioenergy feedstocks, because of its high adaptability to different soil and climates, in addition to the large accumulation of sugars in their stalks. In order to be successfully deployed for the production of sugar and biofuels, agronomic systems should be developed. The effects of inhibiting the development of panicles (by removing the top of the stalks at anthesis period) and harvest times on the technological quality of sweet sorghum were evaluated in this research. The experiment was arranged in a split-split-plot as a completely randomized statistical design, with four replications. Main treatments corresponded to sweet sorghum cultivars (CV147, CV198 and BRS508), sub-plots were the stalks management (integral and panicle removed) and tertiary were the harvest times (102 and 116 DAP). To evaluate the technological quality of sorghum juice, the following analyzes were conducted: total soluble solids content, pH, acidity, reducing sugars, total reducing sugars, starch and phenolic compounds. According to the results, compared with the quality standards for juice use, results showed that the cultivar BRS508 was more suitable for ethanol production. Higher sorghum quality was verified at 116 days after planting. The panicle removal promoted lower starch and phenolic compounds content in the juice.
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