Cashew apple is one of the most wasted agri produces in the country. In a bid to prevent its loss, a professor from the Mangaluru-based NITK (National Institute of Technology Karnataka) has come out with a patented technology to develop an alcoholic beverage out of it.
Prasanna BD, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering in NITK, who was granted a patent titled ‘A process for the production of an alcoholic beverage from cashew apple and raisins and the alcoholic beverage produced thereof’ recently, told BusinessLine that cashew apple is considered as a good source of energy as it has carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carotenoids, phenolics, organic acids, and antioxidants in it.
Though many attempts were made in different countries to prepare wine, health drink, and feedstock for probiotics production from cashew apple, most attempts failed in the market.
He said the technology developed by him makes use of fresh cashew apple and raisins to produce an alcoholic beverage with fine translucent red/transparent colour with sweet, fruity, characteristic cashew apple aroma and fine bouquets with the desirable acidity. He said the characteristic astringency of cashew apple is absent in this beverage, and alcohol content ranges from 7.5-15 per cent v/v.
Asked how the beverage from his technology is different from other cashew apple alcoholic drinks such as “feni”, he said “feni’ is a distilled product. But the cashew apple beverage from his technology is not a distilled product. Stating that alcohol percentage is more when distilled, he said vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients are lost in the distilled product. Such drinks result in browning during preservation, because of chemical and biochemical reactions.
He said the characteristic fruit flavours fade very rapidly during storage, making it difficult for the manufacturer to offer consistent quality to the consumer all the time. Further, conventional cashew apple wine lacks the fine translucent red/transparent colour. Stating that the technology developed by him gives the feeling of the normal red wine, he said no colour is used for this.
Use of raisins
On the use of raisins, he said the technology used raisins to to compensate the contents that are less in cashew apple. Stating that wine should have 12-15 per cent of alcohol, he said in that case there is a need to add around 30 per cent of sugar content before fermentation. Cashew apple gives a maximum of 12-15 per cent of sugar. Raisins help meeting the requirement of sugar for the preparation of wine.
Apart from helping in fermentation, raisins also add to mouthfeel and health of the person, he said. Prasanna used raisins from Vijayapura-Bagalkot region of Karnataka while developing this technology.
On the benefits to farmers, he said cashew apples go waste in a majority of cases in India. A farmer can get ₹10 a kg for cashew apple, if this technology is commercialised. The technology helps in converting an agri produce, which is going waste now, into a unique product. This technology can provide a new beverage to the alcoholic beverage industry.
Prasanna said NITK is looking forward to transfer this technology to interested entrepreneurs and companies. It will provide required technical support to the licensee during the implementation of the technology. Prasanna, who had applied for patent in 2012, was granted patent on May 4.