Environment

Himachal varsity develops tech for apple cider vinegar

The latest tech will overcome the problems of traditional methods, leading to poor quality vinegar

Shimla: State-run Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni in Himachal Pradesh has developed a technology to make use of low-grade and deformed apples for the production of vinegar as well as base wine, officials said in Sunday.

The latest technology will overcome the problems of the traditional methods, which are slow and result in poor quality vinegar, says Vice-Chancellor Parvinder Kaushal.

The university on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with a Shimla-based food processing company for the production of apple cider vinegar, based on the technology developed by scientists of the university’s Department of Food Science and Technology under a DST project.

This is the second startup that has signed a non-exclusive license agreement with the university for the transfer of this technology by paying Rs 40,000 as technology fee, said the university in a statement.

Under this agreement, the company will use the university’s tech to manufacture and sell the cider vinegar and will also acknowledge it on the product label.

Explaining the technology, Department of Food Science and Technology head K.D. Sharma said the technology is an alternative to the traditional methods of making apple cider vinegar and can also be taken as an alternative approach for complete utilization of culled apples along with improving the farm income.

He complimented the entrepreneurs — Nanda Chhajta and Yashwant Chhajta — for putting faith in the university technology and apprised them of several other technologies and processes developed by the university, which can be beneficial to the enterprise.

The Vice-Chancellor said the demand for apple cider vinegar has increased manifold in the past few years due to its several health benefits.

He said the company must explore the production and development of multi-products from apples so that the complete utilization of the fruit can be done.

Himachal Pradesh’s economy is highly dependent on horticulture, apart from hydroelectric power and tourism, with the annual fruit industry worth over Rs 3,500 crore.

Apples alone constitute about 89 per cent of the total fruit production.

According to Horticulture Department estimates, lack of cold chains causes decay of 25 per cent of the produce.