Developed in partnership with the Sugar Research Institute (SRI), the Cane Fibre Analyser is the 2nd generation can fibre technology for the direct analysis of sugarcane fibre that has been successfully used in Australia for cane payment for over 30 years. Jeffress Engineering displayed the new Cane Fibre Analyser (CFA) at the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists conference in Mackay.
The CFA automates and integrates all manual handling aspects of fibre analysis, removing human error from the method. Can fibre is a direct method, washing all solubles including sugars, from a shredded sample of sugarcane and drying the sample to constant weight. Weighing the starting sample and comparing its weight with that of the dry sample after it has been processed, allows Fibre%Cane to be calculated by simple ratio. Precision is higher than any other method of fibre analysis used worldwide, with a repeatability of +/- 0.29 units fibre (Shi et al, 2023, A new approach to measuring the fibre content of sugarcane, ISSCT proceedings), which is less than half the error associated with the next nearest performing method
While can fibre is a well established method for cane fibre measurement, it is not the only method available. Other methods include the ICUMSA, press and Hamna methods. The ICUMSA and Hamna methods require two samples to be analysed, introducing greater sampling errors into the process. All three alternative methods rely on calculation assumptions regarding hygroscopic moisture, and that brix and pol measurements in juice accurately reflect the brix and pol respectively in the cane sample the juice has come from. Both sampling and calculation errors result in poorer repeatability performance. Geoff Kent, Principal Research Fellow at SRI, has stated that “the Cane Fibre Analyser represents the most precise method of measuring fibre above all other known methods”.
Vic Mason, a former research leader at SRI who developed the ground breaking can fibre technology in the 1970’s and 1980’s, remarked “it was wonderful to see the ongoing development and improvement of the technology across the generations”. David Green, current General Manager of SRI, noted that Australian sugarcane growers and processors had gained significant financial advantage by understanding the accurate measurement of quality of sugarcane entering the sugar factory, resulting in more and higher quality sugar for the whole industry and commented “SRI has received multiple enquiries over the years for use of the technology outside Australia”.
Further information about the Jeffco Cane Fibre Analyser can be found on the Jeffress Engineering website www.jeffress.com.au