Properties of Molasses
Molasses as a feed ingredient possesses a unique set of properties, making it suitable for a wide range of applications both in the feed mill and on farm.
Dry matter (DM) is an expression of the material remaining in molasses once its moisture content is extracted. Evaluated through vacuum oven drying, molasses (DM) closely relates to the brix and viscosity levels of the liquid. Molasses blends of higher (DM) tend to be of a more viscous nature with this being especially evident for cane molasses.
Molasses, depending on its source, consists of three to four different sugars. Primarily composed of sucrose it also contains the reducing sugars glucose and fructose with the remaining content comprising of un-fermentable sugars. Origin, crop variety, harvest maturity and the efficiency of the processing facilities all greatly influence the final sugar content of molasses. Sugar content is determined through the volumetric method of Lane & Eynon and is displayed as total sugars as sucrose (TSAS).
The viscosity of cane and beet molasses varies considerable. Country of origin, climate, soil type, harvesting and processing conditions all influence molasses viscosity levels. Beet molasses is generally a lower viscosity material to that of cane, with purity and origin having a limited effect on its characteristics. Sugar cane molasses can vary considerably in viscosity however. The polysaccharide and none sugar organic matter content of cane molasses have the greatest influence on its viscosity. Additionally, the period between harvest and processing can also influence viscosity greatly, with the longer the duration the greater the gumminess of the molasses. Molasses viscosity is expressed in centipoise (CP).
pH of Cane Molasses has a typical range of 4.8-5.5.
pH of Beet Molasses is generally neutral at 7.0 or higher.
Due to its lower pH, when diluted, cane molasses can be somewhat corrosive through fermentation and acid production.