SCOPE OF COMMERCIALIZATION OF PROBIOTICATED FRUIT BASED BEVERAGES IN ASSAM

Milon Jyoti Konwar & Francis Dutta

The concept of food has significantly altered over time. The transition from primitive, nomadic hunter-gatherers to self-sustaining agrarian society has a deep influence on the nutritional security of mankind. Even though in the fast-paced world, where junk foods have taken a toll on the health of individuals, it is worthwhile to mention that in the recent years, a growing inclination of the consumers towards healthy foods is observed. Consumers nowadays prefer foods, which in addition to their nutritional and sensory implications, plays a crucial role in prevention the diseases related to nutritional imbalances and also improve their mental well-being and physical health. Probiotics, a buzzword these days, falling in the category of health improving foods, isn’t a new concept. But it has been gaining tremendous popularity in the last two decades with the advancement in the arena of the food industry. FAO/WHO defined probiotics as live microorganisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers exert health benefits beyond inherent general nutrition. Traditionally fermented dairy products are used as ideal carriers of probiotic microflora but of recently there has been an increasing demand for non-dairy probiotic products from consumers due to issues like vegetarianism, milk cholesterol content, lactose intolerance and several other factors. Fruit juice is a brilliant substitute as it could be a good medium for probiotics. Fruit juice is advantageous because it is globally positioned as a healthy product, owing to their inherent beneficial nutrients like minerals and vitamins, and consumed by a large percentile of the global population. Moreover, it can be consumed by the persons suffering from lactose intolerance since it is free from dairy allergens like lactose. There is a tremendous scope for the development of probioticated beverages from most of the fruits. Fruits like banana, mango, mandarin, pineapple etc. are found to be an excellent source in the delivery of probiotics. It is worthwhile to mention that Goodbelly, an American company has successfully rolled out various probioticated juice formulations by using a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. Some of their formulated beverages are from mango, blueberry, acai berry, cranberry, watermelon, orange and even coconut water. Other probiotic strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus etc. can be utilised for the development of probioticated beverages. Novel strategies like encapsulation are also found to effective in the development of beverages from fruits which are more acidic in nature. Moreover, development of probioticated beverages from fruits can also boost the economic utility which is because the probioticated fruit beverage will fetch more price than their normal counterpart. Assam has a tremendous potentiality in this regard because of the abundance of minor fruits in this region, which also have some inherent nutraceutical properties. Some of the minor/ underutilized fruits of this region are Baccaureasapida (Leteku), Syzygiumcumuni (Jamun), Dilleniaindica (Outenga), Averrhoacarambola (Kordoi), Flacourtiajangamos (Poniol), etc. in abundance in the state can be effectively used for the development of probioticated fruit based beverages. Moreover, Pineapple, Jackfruit, Khasi Mandarin, Banana etc. are commercially cultivated in this region, which can also be used in the production of probioticated beverages. Consequently, there is a remarkable scope of commercial exploitation of these fruits for the development of probioticated beverages and if strict and rigorous guidelines are followed in the production procedure, matching international standards, the developed beverages can be at par with the ones developed by international companies, owing to the fact that the utilized fruits are nutritionally very rich. But, it is also worthwhile to mention that, since the concept of probiotication of fruit beverages is somewhat new in this region, efficient marketing strategies are to be adopted for successful commercialization of the products. This process, if becomes successful, can, not only aid in the value addition, contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but also to the economic prosperity of the region and also in employment generation.

Also with the advances in this area of research, novel methods of use of probiotic strains, their role in a healthy lifestyle and development of a newer product range are very much achievable.


Mr. MilonJyoti Konwar, did his B.Sc in Agriculture & M.Sc in Agronomy from Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat- 13, Assam (India) with first class. At present, he has been pursuing Ph.Din the Department of Agronomy, AAU, Jorhat. He is doing his research in the field of crop and nitrogen management. He has qualified ICAR- NET in Agronomy consecutively for two times in 2016 and 2017. He is engaged in writing various articles and research papers.

Mr. Francis Dutta, did his B.Sc in Agriculture & M.Sc in Horticulture from Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat- 13, Assam (India) with first class. At present, he has been pursuing Ph.D in the Department of Horticulture, AAU, Jorhat. He is doing his research in aspect of food processing. He has qualified ICAR- NET in Pomology (Horticulture) in 2017. He is engaged in writing various articles and research papers.


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