The quality of molasses is measured by its sugar content, which is expressed by the term Brix. Brix is determined by measuring the specific gravity of molasses. After the specific gravity has been obtained the value is applied to a conversion table from which the level of sucrose can be determined. As sugar content increases, degrees brix likewise decreases.
Cane molasses is a by-product during manufacture of sugar from sugarcane. From each ton of sugarcane approximately 25-50 kg of molasses are produced. Cane molasses must contain atleast 43% sugars and have a density of not less than 79.5o brix.
The crude protein ranges from 1-2% and TDN from 55-60%. Although low in phosphorus, it is an excellent source of other minerals. Molasses is deficient in thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin A and vitamin D, but it is rich in niacin and pantothenic acid.
Cane molasses is often included in manufacture of feeds and urea molasses mineral blocks. In ruminant rations molasses is restricted to the level of 10-15% of the ration. Excessive amount of molasses will cause the feed to become messy and unmanageable as well as create digestive disturbance.
When molasses is fed in very large quantities molasses toxicity may develop, which is characterized by neurological defects such as incoordination and blindness. The clinical syndrome is identical to polio encephalomalacia or cerebrocortical necrosis associated with induced thiamin deficiency in ruminants. Molasses toxicity has a complicated etiology and involves an inadequate supply of glucose for the brain, induced thiamin deficiency and rumen stasis. Inadequate glucose status occurs because molasses fermentation produces a high ratio of butyrate to propionate as end products. Butyrate is ketogenic and propionate is glucogenic. An excess of butyrate relative to propionate results in inadequate glucose synthesis and a shortage of glucose for brain metabolism. Molasses toxicity occurs when the roughage component of the diet is inadequate. Low fiber intake results in rumen stasis and the proliferation of slow growing microbes that produce thiaminase destroying thiamin. The combined thiamin glucose deficiency results in brain damage. Provision of adequate roughage is effective in preventing molasses toxicity.
Beet molasses is a by-product during manufacture of sugar from sugar beet. Beet molasses contain about 48-53% sugars and have a density of not less than 79.5o brix.
The crude protein ranges from 6-10% and TDN from 65-75%. Most of the protein is in the form nonprotein nitrogenous compounds including the amine betaine which is responsible for the fishy aroma associated with the extraction process. It is highly laxative because of its high mineral content.
Beet molasses is often included in manufacture of feeds and urea molasses mineral blocks. In ruminant rations molasses is restricted to the level of 10-15% of the ration. Excessive amount of molasses will cause the feed to become messy and unmanageable as well as create digestive disturbance. Since beet molasses is a rich and relatively cheap source of soluble sugars it is sometimes used as an additive in silage making.
Citrus molasses is produced from the juice of citrus wastes. Citrus molasses contain about 41-43% sugars and have a density not less than 71.0o brix. Moisture content is higher ranging from 27-30%. The crude protein ranges from 10-14% and TDN from 65-75%.