Under-exploited fruits - a high potential for processing and value addition
India enjoys a prominent position in under-exploited fruit crops of the world. The varied geographical and suitable environment conditions favor growing a wide variety of fruit crops. These fruits are available in abundance and also in different seasons. Most of the underutilized fruits of the tropics are often available only in the local markets and are practically unknown to other parts of the world. A large number of these fruits can grow under adverse conditions and are also known for their therapeutic and nutritive value and can satisfy demands of the health-conscious consumers. However, some of these fruits are not acceptable in the market in fresh form due to their acidic nature and astringent taste. Hence, there is a need to concentrate on research efforts in diversification and popularization of such underutilized fruit crops. This in some extent can be achieved through developing suitable processing and value additives. The fruit can be preserved by converting it into products like jam, jelly, fruit bar, juice, pickle, murabba, etc. to prolong their utilizable lifespan. Tropical fruits, which are at present underutilized, have an important role to play in satisfying the demand for nutritious, delicately flavored and attractive natural foods of high therapeutic value. There are many reasons for processing fruits besides the development of a business with a good return on investment for the owners such as to prevent postharvest losses, to eliminate waste, to preserve quality, to preserve the nutritive value of the raw materials, to make seasonal horticultural produce available throughout the year, to put them in convenient form for the user and to develop new products, to increase the value of the product and also better return to the farmers. So, ultimately it will be beneficial to producer, processors and consumers.
Porika, H., Chavan, M., Karosiya, A. and Suchithra, M. (2019). Under-exploited fruits - a high potential for processing and value addition. Acta Hortic. 1241, 615-626
underexploited fruits, processing, nutrition, value addition, therapeutic