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Time is ripe for bananas at Konkan fruit fest

Panaji: Overripe bananas have little value in the market. The Konkan fruit festival that got over on Sunday, proved otherwise as dry fruit and pulp rolls of the protein-rich fruit debuted at the fest along with jam and halwa, showing that such by-products can make it profitable for agriculturists.Each year, the Konkan fruit festival brings delectable fruits from the Konkan belt to the public, besides also offering a market to makers of fruit-based products.The banana-based innovation was presented by Ramanata Crisna Pai Raikar School of Agriculture in Ponda. “Overripe bananas have zero value in the market. But once we blend these with sugar in a mixer, we can use it to prepare different products,” said Divya Hazare, a lecturer at the institute.Sattam (dried fruit pulp sheet) made of mangoes and jackfruit are popularly consumed in Goa but not many know that this technique can be applied to bananas as well.Sukeli (sukhe keli or dried banana) is, as the word suggests, a dry fruit preparation made of bananas.Also on display were banana chips made of the G9 variety, a tissue-cultured banana. “Moira bananas are best used for the making of halwas, while Saldati is good for jams,” Hazare said. [TOI]

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