ICAR-IIHR develop ready-serve dragon fruit juice and jack fruit curry

This innovation in RTE and RTS food bolsters the growth of the processing industry while meeting consumers’ needs

Indian Council of Agricultural Research- Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (ICAR-IIHR) has developed a new ready-to-serve (RTS) dragon fruit beverage, also known as kamlam fruit. The food technologists at IIHR found it challenging to make RTS dragon fruit juice because of the tiny seeds and the nature of its pulp. Senior Scientist Pushpa Chethan Kumar said the method used to develop RTS dragon fruit juice involved removing the seeds and mucilage to retain the fruit’s exotic colour and taste. The RTS dragon fruit beverage has a bright pink colour, a lighter taste, and a shelf life of six months. It does not contain synthetic flavours or colours. The food scientists are also working on dragon fruit pulp powder and different flavoured dragon fruit RTS beverages.

The cultivation and harvesting process of yellow dragon fruit is labour-intensive, which makes it more expensive than other fruits. Additionally, the plant is not as widely grown as other fruits, and it requires specific growing conditions, which can make it even more expensive.

In addition to the RTS dragon fruit beverage, the scientists at ICAR-IIHR have also developed a ready-to-eat (RTE) curry made from jackfruit. The Retort Processing Technology was used to standardise the recipe, ensuring the right storage and stabilisation of the final product. The curry has a shelf life of 18 months at room temperature and does not contain preservatives. To consume the RTE curry, the packet needs to be dipped in hot water for five to eight minutes. This innovation in RTE food bolsters the growth of the processing industry while meeting consumers’ needs.

With tender jackfruit gaining popularity as a meat substitute in many countries, scientists have come up with a technologically innovative ready-to-cook product that provides an 18-month shelf life to bulbs of tender jackfruit. The product prevents browning of the bulbs and preserves the texture, according to ICAR-IIHR officials. Over 80 tonnes of jackfruit were exported from Karnataka to Bangladesh and Thailand, increasing the demand for innovative jackfruit products.

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