In sugar factories and refineries material balances are very much part of the work done by sugar technologists. Material balances are required to calculate efficiencies and quantities of products in stock, to investigate potential problems, and to provide information in many other areas.
Polarimetry has been used in the sugar industry for a long time; Browne & Zerban mention that the Biot and Ventze polariscopes were used with sugar solutions in 1840 and 1842 respectively. The concept and its application in sugar analyses are described in chemistry textbooks (Willard et al. 1974).
Do many sugar technologists consider applied statistics a useful topic and therefore worth attention? If the answer is no, as I believe it would be, then this is sad. A working knowledge of applied statistics is very useful, even essential, in any process involving chemistry, engineering, agriculture and finance, which are all relevant in the sugarcane industry.
As was the case for other topics in previous Blackboards, post-harvest cane deterioration was already studied more than 120 years ago. Hes (1950) quotes results obtained in many countries over the period 1894 to 1946. He states that burning increased deterioration, caused weight loss, and that wet cane “soured rapidly, causing a good deal of trouble on the pan floor.”