Beet and cane sugar and molasses have traditionally been used as the preferred carbohydrate source in fermentation processes, because it is cheap and abundant available. This is still the case, but starchy crops are cultivated just as economically and feasible as cane and beet. Thus, High Fructose Syrup based on corn has in the United States demonstrated an explosive growth and largely supplanted cane sugar for industrial applications. To replace the traditional sugar and molasses as carbohydrate source in fermentation all needed is a starch and glucose front end to be added to the fermentation plant.
A starch front end enables the manufacturer to take advantage of starch crops as a cheap and reliable carbohydrate source.
Many products compete for molasses – biofuel in particular. Not only the sugar (sucrose), but also corn has recently become part of a biofuel economy. This may be the reason behind a new trend towards the use of cassava, which can be grown and harvested in the tropical belt round the year a big advantage.
Production based on carbohydrate fermentation will for this reason gradually migrate to tropical or subtropical areas with cheap sources of carbohydrates.
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