First Discovery of Low-Calorie Sugar Extracted by Using Bacteria

Researchers at Tufts University from United States have developed a process that unlock the potential of this low-calorie with an innovative way to produce the sugar using bacteria as tiny bioreactors that encapsulate the enzymes and reactants.

It is only 38 percent of the calories of traditional table sugar, is safe for diabetics, and will not cause cavities. This sugar is called tagatose that is from fruits and dairy products, but difficult to extract from those sources.

"Tagatose Sugar" which is extracted from fruits and dairy products

After the Sukhothai Agricultural Research and Development Center selected and assessed a hybrid of sugarcane made from the Farming Plant Research Center in Suphan Buri to obtain a new breed of sugarcane with higher quality than its predecessor, a new sugarcane was emerged and entitled, ‘Sri Samrong 1’.

When extracted, Sri Samrong 1 cultivated in 1 Rai land can give an average of 5, 647 liters, 38.1% of extraction and 19.1 Brix degree sweetness. The juice’s color is yellow and green and smells good. According to a survey on consumers’ satisfaction, the most favored is its smell, followed by color, taste and sweetness. In terms of producers’ and distributors’ satisfaction in Sukhothai and Phitsanulok, all sugarcane farm owners accepted Sri Samrong 1 thanks to its production amount, smell, taste, extraction percentage and size of stem.

Sri Samrong 1 is an alternative for sugarcane farm owners because its stem is not hard and it is multi-purposed as the plant can be extracted or transformed into factory products because of high extraction percentage, sparkling juice and good odor. The sugarcane can be processed to other products, adding more value in itself.

Nikhil Nair, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Tufts University

Ms. Weerawan Chuakittisak from Khon Kaen Farming Plant Research Center added that Sri Samrong 1 was a result of sugarcane upgrading in 1996 when researchers attempted to make a new breed of sugarcane that is resistant to the red rot wilt and smut diseases. The new sugarcane was born from KWT7 and RT96-018 sugarcanes planted in Sai Yok and Thong Pha Phum districts in Kanchana Buri. After 19 years of hard work emerged a new generation of sugarcane resistant to plant diseases.

Sri Samrong 1 can give 18.47-ton production per a Rai land and 5,647 liters of juice, which exceeds the amount of Suphan Buri 50. Its name comes from a research center in Sri Samrong, Sukhothai.