Over three years ago, food and biotechnology scientists Dr Barry Kitchen FAIFST and Dr David Kannar met with the management and Board of the Mossman Central Mill in Far North Queensland.
They were there to discuss cocoa growing and processing opportunities with the Mill and sugar cane growers in the region.
The Mill management, realising that they were a couple of lateral thinking scientists with strong business and commercial backgrounds., asked if they would have a look at their mill to see if they could come up with any ideas that would provide them with an opportunity to break free from their dependence on producing export raw sugar.
Whilst studying the vast array of natural phytochemicals present in sugar cane and in the waste streams of cane processing, they found that powerful antioxidant Polyphenols were concentrated in molasses and some of these compounds were retained in the raw sugar.
With further support from the Federal Government’s Industry Commercial Ready Grant Scheme, the Mill and Horizon Science continued to examine the biological action and the clinical effects of these Polyphenols and indeed the raw sugar itself with different levels of Polyphenols retained in the sugar crystals.