Direct determination of sugar losses in full scale clamping experiments can provide adequate information as to the overall loss of sugar during an extended storage period but the precision of the methods is not adequate to measure day to day variations in the loss rate ; also the temperature conditions in the clamp are subject to natural variations.
Apparatus had been developed to permit determination of the respiration rate of 10 kg samples of beet in sealed vessels which can be completely submerged in thermostatically controlled water baths. From measurement of the rate of production of carbon dioxide by the beet, it is possible to calculate the respiratory sugar loss over short periods and under controlled conditions.
Respiration rates have been measured at temperatures ranging from 0°C to 33°C and for periods of up to 30 days. In all experiments with sound beet, a relatively high respiration rate was observed with freshly harvested beet and the rate decreased regularly to about half of the initial rate during the first few days after harvesting.
The respiration rates both initially and in the subsequent period increased slowly with increasing temperature over the range 0° to 10°C but then increased rapidly in the temperature range 10°C to 33°C.
Effects of dehydration, root breakage, bruising, topping level, seed variety and of freezing and thawing have been investigated, the rate of heat production in respiration has been assessed and from the experimental results optimum conditions for storage of beet can be deduced.
Proceedings: CITS 1971
pdf download: CITS1971-269-287.pdf