The shelf life of standardized sugarcane juice stored under refrigeration
Abstract The shelf life (SL) of freshly extracted sugarcane juice is limited to a few hours, and the use of hurdle technology is a strategy to ensure its safety and stability. The SL of standardized cane juice (19.4 °Brix, 0.085% acidity and pH 4.35), pasteurized at 95 °C/30 s and stored under refrigeration, was estimated. Ideal (4 °C), commercial (8 °C) and abusive (12 °C) conditions were tested. Microbiological and sensory assays were carried out on the newly processed juice (time zero) and overtime to estimate the SL. Counts of psychrotrophic bacteria and molds and yeasts equivalent to 4 and 3 logCFU mL-1, respectively, were set as acceptable maximum levels to establish the SL. Average scores greater than 5 (in the 9-point hedonic scale) and percentages of approval greater than 60% were both used as threshold values for juice´s appearance and flavor. The juice´s SL stored at 4, 8 and 12 °C were 94, 74 and 26 days, respectively. The combination of multiple technologies applied in this study was effective in obtaining a product with high sensory acceptance and a SL compatible with possible demands of the consumer market.