Author: Dr. R.R. Sharma
Division of Food Science and Postharvest Technology,
ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110 012
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China with quantum post-harvest losses of around 25-30 %. Nearly 3% of the total fruit & vegetable production is processed into value added products in India whereas the processing level about 80% in Malaysia, 30% in Thailand, and 60-70% in the UK and USA. The scope of fruit and vegetable processing sector has increased manifold and has been given a new lease of life owing to rapid urbanization and more women joining the workforce. Processing fruit and vegetable into semi-finished products like pulps and juices is an important part to handle glut during the fruit harvesting season. During the off season, these semi-finished products (raw pulp and juices) can be converted to finished products such as squashes, ready-to-serve drinks (RTS), nectar, cordial etc. In this regard, processing and preservation forms major pillars of food industry. World trade of fruit and vegetable juices averaged nearly US$4,000 million during last decade (FAOSTAT, 2005). Whereas during the year 2012-13, India exported processed food products worth Rs. 41,309.04 crores, which included major products like mango pulp (Rs.607.96 Crores), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (Rs. 1932.73 Crores) and other processed products (MoFPI, 2013). The important importing countries were: USSR, Yemen, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany, USA, Holland and Switzerland. Thus, there is a good scope for processing of fruit and vegetables into different products to reduce wastage and earn foreign exchange.
About Author / Additional Info:
Working on production and postharvest management of fruits and vegetables for the last 32 years. I have published more that 130 research articles in journals of international repute. Authored 12 books, 250 popular articles and received several awards and honours of ICAR and Govt. of India