Keep the juices flowin?! | india | Hindustan Times
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Keep the juices flowin?!

THERE ARE some who would relish the fruit of the season while it lasts and some who would enjoy and share the goodness well after its over. For the latter type, there?s a place tucked right in the heart of the city where a production unit helps you save for not just the rainy day, but also any time of the year.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 00:04 IST

THERE ARE some who would relish the fruit of the season while it lasts and some who would enjoy and share the goodness well after its over. For the latter type, there’s a place tucked right in the heart of the city where a production unit helps you save for not just the rainy day, but also any time of the year.

At the junction of Ashok Marg and Tej Bahadur Sapru Marg, looms large the Government Food Processing Centre at the back of which there’s a manufacturing unit where you could take the fruit or vegetable of your choice and preserve it the way you desire. Squash, marmalade, jam, jelly, pickle, nectar, or ketchup—whatever you want, you can make here in whichever quantity you require with the help of equipment and able guidance of experts.

“It is our endeavour to encourage learning through experience and participation. We don’t entertain people to leave the material here to be picked up later in the ready form,” explains unit in-charge Anupam Shukla. “Involvement in the process adds a special taste to whatever people come here to prepare,” he adds.

A case in point becomes apparent as you see Veena Sharma, at the centre to make and take home ketchup, help Pankaj Tiwari peel oranges for squash while a puree of tomatoes simmers in a cauldron. “I am tempted to make squash for myself too and I guess she will come back to make ketchup,” says Veena, her cooking partner nodding in approval.

Most housewives coming here say that daily chores and the limits of their kitchen don’t allow them such an indulgence at home and that coming here is an option lot more clean and convenient.

The centre offers equipment ranging from crown-sealing machine to one for canning and blister packing, besides huge steam kettles, crushing devices and strainers to ensure that you return with market-like packs stuffed with home-like goodies.

“We discourage use of synthetic condiments,” says Shukla. “For example,” he continues, “instead pectin that is used in industries for mass production, we recommend ‘karonda’, ‘galgal’ or guava, the original source of pectin. They give the same texture as in factory-made goods and the taste is enhanced too.”

Time and again, the centre holds 15-day or shorter sessions of training in food preservation on the campus and in villages. A 100-day course enables young and aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the technical and legal aspects of food preservation as a business. Since the centre already has FPO certification, it would soon be possible for small-time manufacturers to produce goods here and sell them with labels bearing the mark of the authority.