LUDHIANA, OCTOBER 30: The Department of Food Science and Technology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has developed technologies for processing of potato into low-cost indigenous products, which can help to solve the problems of the farmers and take them out of financial crunch.Dr Poonam A. Sachdev, Head of the department, said, “Potato is a perishable commodity. Inadequacies in its post-harvest handling, storage and non-availability of suitable potato varieties in our country have resulted in frequent gluts in the market, causing economic losses to the farmers and wastage of precious food.” The University has evolved a technology through which processed potato products will serve as a mean to increase their use in off seasons along with their high nutritional value, she said.Potato contains carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, dietary fibre and negligible amount of fat, she added. Potatoes are considered as a significant antioxidant source of in human nutrition, she observed. The main potato antioxidants are polyphenols, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, tocopherols, a-lipoic acid and selenium, she told. Potato consumption can prevent many of the chronic diseases associated with cancer, inflammation and ageing caused by free radicals and oxygen, she said. The Department of Food Science and Technology has developed indigenous technology for drying of potato slices with minimal cost, which can be applied at farm gate also, she informed.Various other traditional potato products developed by the department include aloo bhujia, aloo wari, potato papad, potato chakli and potato maize chips, she said. These products are easy to prepare and can be produced at a cottage industry level, she added. Various trainings and facilities are provided for processing and value addition of plant crops in the Food Industry Business Incubation Centre, Department of Food Science and Technology, PAU, she informed.
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