Processamento e parâmetros físicos, químicos, físico-químicos, microbiológicos, sensoriais e de rotulagem do açúcar mascavo: revisão de literatura
Armange, Emile Manoele
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The growing search for natural and artisanal foods raised the market potential of brown sugar. However, the lack of standardization of the products sold limits this food from being consolidated in the consumer's view. Data from the literature regarding the characteristics and processing of brown sugar were compiled in this work, even covering the current legislation for this product and its implications on the market. Through a literature review, the parameters considered were: humidity, water activity, chemical composition, polarization, reducing sugars, pH, ash, microbiological contaminants (total coliforms, mesophilic bacteria, Salmonella spp., molds and yeasts), labeling, color, granulometry, and also sensory aspects as aroma and flavor. The brown sugar products studied in the literature presented significant heterogeneity concerning the parameters evaluated, which could cause great variation in the visual elements and influence the consumer's purchase decision. Several aspects are responsible for interfering in the quality of the product obtained, from characteristics and composition of the raw material to techniques applied during the manufacture of brown sugar, including the literature establishing a relationship between these factors. Family agro-industries and artisanal producers use different flowcharts for processing this product but some steps may not be performed in specific production units, which reflect on the final product. The scarcity of national legislation recommending tolerance intervals for the characteristics of brown sugar intensify the scenario of high variation between the brands sold, limiting the consolidation of the product from the consumer's perspective. The insufficiency of specific protocols for brown sugar analysis and the demand for new studies to validate reference values previously suggested in the literature were identified. Besides, there is an urgent necessity to develop new legislation that meets the requirements for brown sugar and expand its consumer market, allowing the producer to remain in the segment.
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