By: F2F Guatemala Volunteer, Katherine Li
Panela is a staple sugar in Latin American diets, yet little is known about this food elsewhere. The process of its manufacture is simple yet mesmerizing to watch. At IPAGUA’s factory, the process starts with harvesting the sugar cane, followed by extraction of the cane juice, and boiling of the juice. It’s a tricky, almost intuitive process. “Starting the fire is considered the most important job in the entire factory”, they tell me, “It has to be the right temperature [for boiling] or else the entire process won’t work.” After the final boiling, the sugar is pulverized into dulce panela, which resembles finely-powdered brown sugar. The sugar cane pulp is laid out and dried, and used as fuel for the fire the next day. IPAGUA’s factory can make up to 0.8 to 1T of panela per day, and 250T per year.
|Meeting some staff members at the Universidad del Valle|
Presenting on acrylamide to a public audience at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Universidad de San Carlos