With oninons making headlines due to rise in price, the agriculture scientist at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana is experimenting with the technology that can not only increase production but can also enable long-term storage for consumption throughout the year.
According to Dr Poonam A Sachdev, head of the department, onion is a perishable commodity and extreme weather conditions in some states have resulted in increase in onion prices. She said that they have the technology for the preparation of dehydrated onion flakes, having a shelf life of 12 months and when reconstituted retain the fresh-like flavour and can be further used in curried preparations and for making onion based snacks.
“Onions can be processed into ready-to-use onion puree and paste which can be stored for more than six months at room temperature. These products provide convenience to the consumers by restricting the kitchen drudgery and time involved in the preparation of the product. Onion paste and puree can be used in the preparation of curried vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes,” Dr Poonam said.
The processed onion products can be prepared when onions are cheap and utilized in off-season when onion prices are high, she further said.
Dr Sachdev said the department is emphasizing on low-cost technologies which can be adopted at farm gate and household level. The university has shared the technology of onion paste and puree with public and private sector and provided incubational facilities for the preparation of onion products, she said.