Value addition of fruits & vegetables plays an important role in agricultural sector.
In developing countries, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. As such, there should be no surprise that agricultural industries & related sectors can account for a considerable proportion of their output.
Fruits & vegetables are an important nutritional requirements of human beings as they not only cater the taste of our daily foods but also supply vitamins, minerals and disease preventing phytochemicals.
It is therefore, necessary to make them available for consumption throughout the year in the form of processed or preserved form.
There are 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.
Fruits & vegetables processing sector is very important as it ensures employment to large section of unemployed youths along with it prevents the huge post-harvest losses to meet the nutritional & food security of the growing population.
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 & vegetable products all over the globe.
India is the top most vegetable and fruit producer in the world and accounts for about 15 % of the world’s production of vegetables.
Some of the 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, squashes, juices etc.
- Frozen products like frozen peas, cauliflower etc.
India has made a good progress on the horticultural map of the world.
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. The Indian food processing industry is primarily export oriented.
Fruit & vegetable processing industry has taken a new direction & is growing gradually with strong growth rate annually.