Enhancement of Citrus Processing is Urgent Need in Pakistan

(By Neha Anwar, Dr. Tusneem Kausar, Dr. Farzana Siddique)

(Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, UOS)

Pakistan is famous for its citrus production, especially kinnow is at the top. Sargodha region is well known for its production all over the world that why it is called California of Pakistan. Citrus is noteworthy among fruits due to Vitamin C. Basically, an orange consists of juice vesicles surrounded by a waxy skin, the peel. The peel comprises a thin, color outer layer called the flavedo and a thicker, fibrous inner layer called the albedo. The endocarp, the edible portion of the fruit, includes a central fibrous core and individual segments containing the juice sacs. In large processing plants, the complete fruit is utilized. By-products are produced to help maximize profits and minimize waste. Four groups of fruit are of commercial significance in the production of orange juice products i.e., the sweet orange, also known as the China orange, Citrus sinensis, is commonly called sweet orange, the sour or bitter orange, also known as the Seville orange, Citrus aurantium. Sourness in citrus is due to citric acid that makes it unique. The mandarin orange and tangerine varieties Citrus reticulate. Hybrid oranges (tangors) that result from various crosses between tangerines and sweet oranges. Of these, the sweet orange is by far the most important. In several markets, including Europe, only juice made from sweet orange varieties, Citrus sinensis, may be labeled as orange juice. To be correct from a horticultural perspective, the common name for the species Citrus reticulata is mandarin, some varieties of which are called tangerines. However, the word tangerine is often used as the common species name. It is important for the orange processing industry to get the maximum number of products from the fruit while maintaining their high quality. The other products and by-products of citrus are as following they may be primary and secondary. Lemon is a species of citrus that is used in pickles.

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Its primary product is fresh fruit;

In industry, after picked, the fruits go through inspection stages, washing, waxing and packing. The cleanser used during washing may include fungicides, therefore the fruits are not sent to juice processing, since the fungicides could find their way into the juice, leaving undesirable residues.

Main industrial processing use is its juice;

which can be divided into two categories like frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) which can be transported at a lower cost and it can also store for longer periods in frozen drums. Not from concentrate juice (NFCJ) not undergone concentration process and export as well. There are various secondary products like comminuted Citrus Base Originally developed in the United Kingdom, it is a product made by milling the whole fruit or by mixing the milled peel with juice concentrate. It is used as an ingredient for fruit drinks, since it has a strong flavor. Pulp or Orange Cells; Ruptured juice sacs and segment walls recovered after the extraction process. Can be added back to the juice to provide mouthfeel and a natural appearance to the product. Pulp wash also known as WESOS – Water-Extracted Soluble Orange Solids; the juice obtained after the pulp is washed, containing fruit solids. May be used in fruit drinks as a source of secondary soluble solids and fruit solids. It is also used as a clouding agent to provide body and mouthfeel to fruit drinks wash. Peel oil or cold-pressed oil can be extracted. Essential oil extracted from the orange peel. It is usually sold to the flavor industry which produce flavors largely used in food, drinks, cosmetics and chemical products. Essences; The essences comprise volatile components recovered from the evaporation process, separated in aqueous and oil phases. The water-soluble components are sometimes added-back to the concentrate juice, and the oil phase is different from the peel oil, containing more of the fruit flavor; it is also added back to the concentrate. Both phases are raw material for food and beverage industries. D-Limonene contains the main component of the peel oil. It is a thin and transparent oil obtained from the manufacturing of citrus pulp pellets, used in the biodegradable solvents and cleaning products and in the manufacturing of synthetic resins and adhesives.  A famous company Baker’s Land is making lemon flavor delicious biscuits. Citrus Pulp Pellets; this product results from processing the juice and is made from wet waste products of the fruit: peel, bagasse, non-reutilized pulp, and seeds. These waste products go through a drying process and form a concentrated forage that is transformed into pellets, serving as preparation to cattle ration. Pectin; A less common product, obtained from orange peel and used as thickener in jellies, marmalades and gelatin. Nutritional value of oranges is; 1 cup of orange segments contain calories 8, fat 0g, protein 2g, carbohydrates 21g/ 7% DV, fiber 4g/ 17% DV, vitamin C 95.8mg/ 160% DV, folate 54.0mcg/ 14% DV, thiamine 0.2mg/ 10% DV, potassium 326mg / 9% DV. Health benefits of oranges are; Nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but rich in dietary fiber, Pectin, by its virtue as a bulk laxative, helps protect the mucosa of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. By binding to bile acid in the colon, pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon. Now a day orange flavor is famous for drinks, biscuits and sent or in perfumes etc. We have a challenge to safe our wasting produce. It surplus supply during glut season would make thinkers a contest. So, it is an urgent need to improve its processing industry.

Mujahid Ali

I am a PhD scholar in Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF and Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture Department in University of Sargodha.

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