Why are Fruits and Vegetables dehydrated?
- Preservation – Shelf life of dried fruits and vegetables is more than 1 year depending on their type and storage temperature.
- Lowers the cost of packaging, storing, transportation.
- For direct use in the manufacturing of processed food like instant vegetable noodles, soups, snacks and fast food.
India is a prominent exporter of dried and preserved vegetables to the world. The country exported 88535.56 MT of dried and preserved vegetables to the world for the worth of Rs. 944.65 crores/ 146.54 USD Millions during the year 2017-18.
Dehydrated Fruits & Vegetables
- Round the year availability
- Huge Potential in exports
- Increasing demand with increasing food processing companies
Major dried fruits and vegetables in demand
1. Vegetables: Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Okra, Potatoes, Cabbage, Peas, Carrot, Mushrooms, Beans, Green pepper
2. Fruits: Pineapple, Mango, Peach, Berries, Prunes, Figs, Apricots
- Sorting and Grading are done to remove the blemished ones and grade according to size and color.
- It is followed by washing, peeling or cutting as desired.
- Pre-treatment – Vegetables are blanched whereas fruits are sulphur-treated to inactivate enzymes (this halts browning).
- Drying is done to reduce the moisture content up to the desired level. There are various different kinds of dryers with different properties to choose from.
- Dried fruits and vegetables are allowed to cool down for some time so as to prevent any condensation/sweating in the package.
- Finally, packing is done.
Did you know?
“India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. However, only 2% of fruits and vegetables produced are processed, compared to 65% in the US.”
The packaging of dehydrated fruits and vegetables must
- Protect the product against moisture, light, air, dust, microflora, foreign odor, insects, and rodents.
- Provide strength and stability to maintain original product size, shape, and appearance throughout storage, handling, and marketing.
- Consist of materials that are approved for contact with food.
- Be cost effective.
Majorly used Package types include cans, plastic bags, drums, bins, and cartons, and depend on the end-use of the product.
Land and Machinery
The cost of machinery will mainly depend upon the type of dryer used and its capacity. Considering the use of a fluidized bed dryer with a capacity of 400tonnes per year, the cost of machinery is estimated to be around INR 20 lakhs. The land required for the operation is estimated to be around 800 square meters.