Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana L) is one of the important underutilized fruits grown in semi-arid and arid regions of the country. Ber is a nutritious fruit, which is rich in the B group of vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin and niacin), vitamin C and β-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. It is also rich in the minerals like phosphorus, calcium and iron. Processed products from ber can have more shelf life and marketability. One such product is Ber candy developed using Osmo-Air drying techniques by CIPHET.
The sound fruits are under tap water to remove dirt or foreign particle if any on the skin. The stem of ber fruits is removed manually. The manual peeling is done using sharp stainless steel knife. The hygienic conditions are maintained during all processes to avoid contamination. The edible fruit portion is cut into slices and seed is removed. Blanching of Ber slices with 0.2 % KMS is done to have light and good colored candy. The osmotic agent, i.e. sugar syrup (30, 40, 50 and 60 °B) is prepared by adding the required amount of sugar in water and mixing it thoroughly. It is then heated to 100 °C for dissolving sugar. Citric acid (0.2 %) is added to sugar syrup while boiling, for purification of the syrup. The prepared syrup is filtered through a clean muslin cloth and cooled to room temperature. The ber candy is prepared by soaking the blanched and control fruit slices in the osmotic agents in a vessel in the ratio of 1:2 (slices: sugar syrup) for 48 hrs at ambient conditions. After 48 h, the syrup is drained and ber slices are arranged in the trays as individual pieces and dried in a tray drier at 60 °C for 5-6 hrs. The dried fruit slices are cooled before packing.
Nutritional composition of Ber candy in terms of moisture content, TSS, ascorbic acid, acidity, total sugars and reducing sugar was found to be as 10.08 %, 48 °B, 95.97 mg/100gm, 0.225 %, 21.65 % and 9.67 % respectively.
The developed Ber candy is a nutritious confection and can be used as an excellent substitute for candies with artificial flavoring and essences. It is a healthy and nutritious snack for children and adults.
For more information contact
Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering & Technology,
Ludhiana, 141004, Punjab
Source : E- newsletter of Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering & Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana