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Chemical Analysis of Agave Sisalana Juice For Its Possible Utilization

Author(s): Shipra Sharma and V K. Varshney

Agave sisalana Perrine (family: Agavaceae), popularly known as Sisal is a commercially used fibre yielding plant. This herbaceous plant occupies sixth place among fibre plants, representing 2% of the world’s production of plant fibre. Approximately 240.7 tonnes of sisal is globally produced. Sisal industry in India is largely unorganised. Sisal is mainly grown in arid and semi-arid regions across the various states in the country. Processing of the sisal leaves for fibre production generates vast quantity of juice which remains underutilized and thus can have negative environmental impact from its disposal. Research programmes driven by societal demand, aiming at evaluation of the agricultural / forestry byproducts in possible value-added applications, have increased significantly during the last decade. The chemical analysis of the juice was undertaken to find its possible utilization. The contents of water, ash, crude protein, total soluble sugars and inulin were determined. The potential of the juice for production of inulin was revealed. Inulin is widely used in functional foods for its health promoting properties. Storage of the juice at 4º C showed a considerable reduction in the inulin content and therefore, the use of fresh juice was suggested.

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