Economical approach to preserve vegetables
Indian is the second largest vegetable producer in the world next to China with a total production of 180 million tonnes from an area of 10.4 million ha in accordance with NHB database.
Owing to improper post-harvest operations of vegetables especially storage, over 30-40% of horticultural produce produced in the country is lost resulting in poor returns to farmers and high cost to consumers. The storage of fresh vegetable particularly under the tropical climate in India is a major challenge needing immediate attention. Storage technique for vegetables holds huge importance considering in mind the amount of post-harvest losses taking place in a developing country like India.
Storage technique for preservation of vegetables:
The technique is designed to control the microbial, enzymatic, and oxidative spoilage to a large extent by proper storage conditions.
Vegetables should be washed thoroughly in clean water to remove blemishes. Shred the vegetables with a knife. Weigh 2 kg of finely shredded cabbage and put it in a clean plastic container and blend it with any type of 2 kg shredded vegetables (except potato & sweet potato). Check that cabbage proportion should not be less than 50% because it contains lactic acid bacteria and nutrients which help in fermentation (radish & cucumbers are used as substitutes for cabbage) to preserve for a longer period without spoilage. Then add 22.5 gm of brine solution to 1 kg of shredded vegetables. Press the mix with hand and make sure that brine can come up at the top of vegetables. Close the container with a plastic sheet to avoid exposure with air and maintain adequate pressure. Tighten the container with a thread so that the container becomes airtight. Vegetables can be stored for 3 months.
It is economical and eco-friendly within the reach of farmers.