Scientists at ANGRAU research station at Anakapalle develop it under an all-India project
In spite of being the world's largest producer of jaggery, the country has not been able to exploit the export potential. Experts attribute it to the use of bleaching agent sodium hydrogen sulphate to produce bright-coloured jaggery. Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) does not allow jaggery with more than 70 PPM for export.
However, with jaggery commanding a higher price sometimes and the growing preference for it by the health conscious provides an opportunity for producing export quality jaggery.
While sugar contains 99.9 per cent sucrose, jaggery comprises sucrose, glucose, fructose, Vitamins A, B and E and is rich in iron and calcium, according to agricultural scientists. Steam boiling is a step towards modernisation of jaggery-making. “In steam boiling, the entire heating using bagasse is done outside and water is converted into steam heating the sugarcane solution,” says P.V.K. Jagannadha Rao, principal scientist, All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology Centre at ANGRAU Regional Agricultural Research Station, Anakapalle.
The system is developed under the AICRP project.
It keeps out the dust and particles of bagasse finding their way into the juice being boiled for jaggery.
“It saves about 17 to 20 per cent of time and gives 20 to 30 per cent better quality jaggery,” says Mr. Jagannadha Rao.
The boiler system costs Rs.10 lakh and the pay back period is two years and two months, he says.
While 250 kg of jaggery a day is made using the traditional system in and around Ankapalle and about 500 kg in the Godavari districts, the boiler gives one tonne of production, he says.
It also suits sugar factories planning to divert into jaggery making and those who want to produce granulated jaggery, Mr. Jagannadha Rao elaborates.
During a recent State-level farmers' meeting, advantages of the three-pan furnace developed by the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow and the rotating filtration system developed by AICRP Centre, Kolhapur, were explained to farmers.
The three-pan system has better heating process, pipes for transferring liquid from one pan to the other and mechanical emptying of the concentrated liquid. An experienced farmer from Nellore, Babu Rao, however, differed with the estimate that each cycle would produce 100 kg and said only 50 kg would be made. The filtration system will reduce scum by 80 per cent and improve quality of jaggery, according to Dr. Rao.
Source : The Hindu