Jugo de Caña (cane juice)

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Monday, March 31, 2014

LAST week’s column “Sugarcane juice” drew a response from online reader Rafael Suárez Rivacoba. Señor Rivacoba is the Director Relaciones Internacionales of Azcuba, the state-run holding company that replaced the Cuban Sugar Ministry.

He wrote, “Me atrevo a escribirle en castellano considerando su apellido Sánchez y su nacionalidad filipina.” (He emailed me in Castilian because of my Spanish name and Filipino nationality). How’s that for Hispanic heritage as basis for solidarity?

Señor Rivacoba is one of the Cuban authors of the book “Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba” published by the US-based Institute for Food and Development Policy.


In the book, the authors wrote on Cuba’s remarkable recovery from a food crisis brought on by the collapse of trade relations with the former Soviet Bloc and the tightening of the US trade embargo.

Unable to import either food or materials needed for conventional agriculture, Cuba turned inward to self-reliance. Sustainable agriculture, organic farming, urban gardens, smaller farms, animal traction, and biological pest control are all part of the new Cuban agriculture.

The Cuban authors offer details of these remarkable achievements to serve as guideposts toward healthier, more environmentally-friendly and self-reliant farming.

Señor Rivacoba and fellow Cuban Rafael B. Morín contributed the book’s Chapter Fifteen: “Sugarcane and Sustainability in Cuba.”

Compañero Rivacoba continued, “me ha gustado mucho su artículo sobre las propiedades del Jugo de Caña (que en Cuba llamamos Guarapo).” He liked the write-up on the attributes of sugarcane juice, called Guarapo in Cuba.

“He leído antes algunos estudios científicos serios que coinciden con los elementos que usted señala en su excelente artículo.” Me halaga. I’m flattered that he judged the column an excellent piece. Verdad, Compañero Rivacoba y yo both read the same references on guarapa.

Compañero Rivacoba recommended that “Sólo agregar, por último, que existe tecnología para embotellar jugo de caña, sin adición de sustancias químicas conservantes, y que permiten almacenar el producto por más de un año, sin necesidad de refrigeración ni pérdida de sus propiedades organolépticas.”

There’s a Cuban technology for bottling cane juice without the use of chemical preservatives, and could even enhance shelf-life and retain the juice’s organoleptic attributes without refrigeration for over a year. With the chemicals, however, the bottled sugarcane juice will fail organic certification.

Organoleptic attributes includes the taste, color, odor, and feel of sugarcane juice that turns on or off our sense organs.

“En Cuba disponemos de esa tecnología. Si conoce usted de alguna empresa interesada en producir Jugo de Caña Embotellado, no dude de ponerla en contacto con nosotros,” added Rivacoba.

So there you go. If Señor Cocinero, FreshStart and other organic producers would like to explore the Cuban bottling technology, you can get in touch with Señor Rivacoba through his email address:rafael.suarez@azcuba.cu. Don’t worry, you can email him in English for further details.*


Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 31, 2014.


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