Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Melvin R. Johnston

Committee Members

Jimmy L. Collins, Ivon E. McCarty


The problems involved in making a high quality sorghum syrup are many. One of the problems most neglected or least understood is that concerning the relationship of various constituents contained in the juice and the finished syrup. On the whole, the literature indicates that earlier investigators made little attempt to correlate composition of the juice and quality of syrup.

Although the production of sorghum syrup has never been considered to have commercial importance, it continues to be produced on a limited scale in at least 35 states. Six southeastern states, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia produce approximately 50 percent of the sorghum today.

The production of sorghum syrup has never been considered an important cash crop in Tennessee, and, consequently, the cane is not grown extensively in many areas of the state. Benton co\inty, the largest syrup producing county in the state, reported that 25 percent of the row crop income for 1964 was derived from the production of sorghum (17). Other leading counties producing syrup in 1959 were Warren, Fayette, Tipton, Shelby and DeKalb. These 6 counties produced approximately 50 percent of the total for the state (15).

No information is available pertaining to consumer demand for sorghum syrup; however, from observations and conversations with producers, it is apparent that there is a commercial potential for high quality sorghum syrup. In order to develop this potential, it will be necessary to eliminate practices contributing to the production of inferior syrups. One of the contributing factors, as reported by research workers, is the influence of various chemical constituents of the juice. More data pertaining to the presence of these constituents and their influence on syrup quality are vital to overall improvement of quality and to the further development of the industry.

With this factor in mind, the objectives of this study were (1) to determine the presence of certain chemical constituents in the juice, and (2) the concentrations of these constituents in the various internodes. By knowing where these constituents are most concentrated, steps deemed necessary for the alteration or elimination of the juice can be initiated.

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