Belgium: Rapid freezing and thawing: about 1,000 hectares of beet to be destroyed

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Frost and thaw were fatal to hundreds of hectares of beets. The quality of the product also forced Belgian sugar factories to idle. The severe frost that hit the countryside around 10 December had serious consequences for sugar factories and some farmers. For several days, Belgian factories have been idling because of the quality of the beet that is transported. "In a few days, we went from -9° to +14," says Guy Paternoster, CEO of the Raffinerie Tirlemontoise (Südzucker group). Although all the piles were protected, we had damage. Especially at the foot of the piles or in the parts exposed to the wind." Fast freezing and thawing caused the beets to rot: "the inside becomes spongy. We then find gelatin in the process that blocks the filtration." Technically, "sucrose degrades to dextran. It's an eraser that clogs the filters."
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