Its right time for Kerala to reap benefits from value-added products of avocado

GS Unnikrishnan

Avocado fruit- Avocado powder / Photo: AFP

Its avocado season in Kerala. At a time when the fruit is available in ample quantity, the cultivators should try to reap benefits from its value-added products.

By drying and powdering the fruit, the return can be increased manifold. Interestingly, The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research(IIHR) has developed the technology for this process.

Though avocado has been cultivated at commercial scale in Wayanad district, in the plains too the agriculture of this fruit is getting momentum.

In the form of sapling from seeds and grafts avocado has been cultivated across many places in the state. It will take around five years for the sapling to bear fruits, while grafted one bear fruits within three years.

According to the study conducted by Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Ambalavayal, a 10-year-old avocado tree can bear 400 fruits in a season. March-August season is the time when more yield will be available. The harvest during rainy seasons is likely to get lower prices. That’s why the cultivators need to consider the value-added products. Apart from selling it as fruit, avocado can be sold in powdered form.

The fruit contains monounsaturated good fat and polyunsaturated good fat. The powdered form has been used as ingredient in nutritional supplements and cosmetic products.

IHHR Bengaluru has developed the spray drying process in which fruit pulp is converted to powder. The peculiarity of the powder is that it can be stored for 3 months without any damage. 100 gram of avocado powder can be sold at Rs 600.

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