Government apathetic to fruit wine making?

BANGALORE: Though there is a good market for fruit wine outside India, the government apparently does not seem to be interested in producing and marketing it. Recently, three students pu

Published: 30th April 2012 03:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:50 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Though there is a good market for fruit wine outside India, the government apparently does not seem to be interested in producing and marketing it.

Recently, three students pursuing their MSc in Post Harvest Technology at The University of Horticultural Sciences (UHS) Bagalkot, as a part of their thesis, prepared a light wine from jackfruit, jamun and tomato with an alcohol content of nearly seven to nine  per cent (ABV). Generally, grape wine has an alcohol content of 12.5 to 13.5 per cent.

“Fruits, that basically have high sugar content can be used for preparing wine. Banana can be consumed when it is ripe but is wasted when it turns black. Nearly three-fouth of the banana produce in the country is wasted, which could be used to prepare wine,” said Prof Dr S L Jagadeesh of University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot.

He added that the seeds of jamun are very good for diabetics but are not used. These seeds, according to him can be used to prepare wine.

Researchers in north India claim to have prepared wine from mangoes.

Director of Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd Managing Vishakanata said, “In Karnataka, only one per cent of the total production of fruits and vegetables are processed into different products. Nearly 25-30 per cent of the              produce is lost due to  improper post harvest      management and calls for a revolution in food processing technology.”

Jagadeesh explained that setting up and operating a fruit winery is a challenge  and often bureaucratic obstacles often prevent the marketing process.

“The government allows to market only grape wine and not the ones prepared from other fruits. There is a need for the government to push for other wines through promotion, and subsidies,” Jagadeesh added.

The Karnataka Wine Board claimed a Year-on-Year (YoY) growth of 25 per cent and also plans to increase its current wine grape cultivation spread over 2,000 acres to 5,000 acres by 2015. The state’s wine consumption grew from 13 lakh litres  in 2007 to 20 lakh litres 2011, with total wine consumption in the country reaching 130 lakh litres per annum.

Managing director of Karnataka Wine Board (grape) K G Suresh Chandran says that failure in fruit wine making process discouraged many. “If someone comes out with a fruit wine for commercial  purposes, he has  to find a market for himself until there is a greater demand and no restriction on certification and licensing processes,” he said.

“Manufacturers have to follow the same procedures as followed for grape wine.”

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