Tech relief to avoid post harvest losses of bananas

CFTRI to sign a MoU with Trichy based cooperative in January

Despite India being the largest producer of bananas in the world, lack of resources to handle the produce, storage facilities and post-harvest technologies, high post-harvest losses are reported.

To address these issues, the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), in the city, has been developing technologies to reduce the losses. One of the technologies that has attracted the cooperative sector recently is ‘Clarified Banana Juice’ from over-ripe bananas.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ram Rajsekharan, Director of CFTRI, said, the shelf-life of fruits, especially bananas, is low. “A few days after harvesting, banana skin turns dark, prompting banana growers to discard them, as they cannot be sold in the market. Using the technology developed here, three products can be produced,” he said.

If the technology is implemented, even the darkened banana peel will not go waste. The
peel can be dried and powdered and used as animal feed. The fruit can be processed to develop clarified banana juice, while the residue could be used to make high nutrition bars or as flavouring agents, he said. The shelf-life of the juice is about a year and the CFTRI is working on developing an aerated form of the drink.

Technology transfer

Rajsekharan said, the technology had caught the interest of a cooperative of banana cultivators from Trichy district, in Tamil Nadu.

“They have been producing dried bananas to reduce post-harvest losses. Learning about the CFTRI’s technology, the cooperative has held preliminary discussions with us,” he said. He added that CFTRI was likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the cooperative in the month of January.

He said, the CFTRI would provide all necessary training for the cooperative functionaries, with scientists working in collaboration with them.

It can be recalled that the CFTRI had recently tied up with the Palakkad Coconut Producers Cooperative Private Ltd (PCPCL), a cooperative of about 26,000 farmers, to develop ‘neera’, a non-alcoholic palm beverage and its extended products.

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