Without doubt, the sugar content is the major quality parameter of sugar beets. The amount of sugar which can be crystallized as white sugar in processing is often predicted using empirical formula. These formulas are usually based on the potassium, sodium and amino-nitrogen content of the beets. The amount of sugar that cannot be crystallized (i.e. the sugar contained in molasses) is related to these internal quality parameters. However, from a process technology perspective other beet quality parameters play an important role too and may have a considerable impact on the efficiency of beet processing and thus production costs. The first part of this paper presents an overview of the technologically considered important external and internal beet quality parameters and how they affect processing.
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