Fruits and Vegetables Value addition, Food Processing, Dehydration, Canning and Preservation, Processed Food Projects
In developing countries agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. As such, it should be no surprise that agricultural industries and related activities can account for a considerable proportion of their output. Of the various types of activities that can be termed as agriculturally based, fruit and vegetable processing are among the most important. Therefore, fruit and vegetable processing has been engaging the attention of planners and policy makers as it can contribute to the economic development of rural population. The utilization of resources both material and human is one of the ways of improving the economic status of family.
The change in the income growth, increase in population, lifestyle and concern towards health and nutrition worldwide have resulted in a large demand for processed fruit and vegetable products all over the globe. India is among the topmost vegetable and fruit producer in the worldand accounts for about 15% of the world's production of vegetables. A large number of units are in the cottage/home scale and small scale sector, having small capacities upto 250 tonnes/annum though big Indian and multinational companies have capacities in the range of 30 tonnes per hour or so. It has the distinction of producing almost all-tropical and exotic fruits and vegetables because of varied climatic conditions. India’s food processing sector covers fruit and vegetables. Value addition to food products has assumed vital importance in our country due to diversity in socio-economic conditions, industrial growth, urbanization and globalization. Value is added by changing their form, colour and other such methods to increase the shelf life of perishables.
There are various methods of preservation of food including thermal processing, fermentation, pickling, dehydration, freezing etc. The technology for preservation also varies with type of products and targeted market. Some of fast growing segments of food processing industries are given as under:
• Mango and other fruit pulps
• Pickles, chutney, sauces etc.
• Tomato products like paste, puree and ketchup
• Fruit jam, marmalade, crush, squashes, juices etc.
• Canned fruits and vegetables etc.
• Frozen products like frozen peas, cauliflower etc.
India has made a good progress on the horticultural map of the world.Boosted by rising consumer demand owing to better health awareness and purchasing power, production of fruits and vegetables across India has increased this year with their total yield surpassing the production of food grains. Fruit & vegetable processing is driven by growing consumer demand for healthy and fresh products that are easily available and require minimal preparation time. Processing of fruits & vegetables increases their shelf-life. Since they are traded on a large scale, processing ensures that market demand of fruits & vegetables with standard quality is met. The vast production base offers India tremendous opportunities for export. India's exports of Processed Food was Rs. 26,067.64 Crores in 2015-16, which includes the share of products like Mango Pulp (Rs. 796.17Crores), Dried and Preserved Vegetable (Rs. 914.21 Crores), Other Processed Fruit and Vegetable (Rs. 2,900.33 Crores), Pulses (Rs. 1,603.22 Crores), Groundnuts (Rs. 4,046.05 Crores), Guargum (Rs. 3,233.87 Crores). The Indian food –processing industry is primarily export oriented. India’s geographical situation gives it the unique advantage of connectivity to Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Singapore, Thiland, Malaysia and Korea.
Fruit and vegetable processing industry has taken a new direction and is growing gradually with strong growth rate annually. Infrastructure development for processing may take this industry to the new heights in the years to come with the help of sufficient exports and investments. Fruit and vegetable processing is done widely in the food and beverage industry.Fruits and vegetables are processed into a variety of products such as juices and concentrates, pulp, canned and dehydrated products, jams and jellies, pickles and chutneys etc. The extent of processing of fruits and vegetables varies from one country to another.
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