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Northeast India is known for its diverse nature of soil, climate, and topography. This region is rich in diversity of many fruits, vegetables, flowers particularly orchids, spices, bamboo and medicinal & aromatic plants. Among the commercial fruits of the country, maximum diversity in citrus, banana and jack fruit are found in Northeast India. A large number of diversity in other tropical and subtropical fruits belonging to the genera Garcinia, Artocarpus, Phyllanthus, Annona, Averrhoa, Persia, Aegle, Passiflora and Tamarindus etc. are reported from the region. Northeast India is also rich in different genotypes of cucurbits, solanaceous vegetables, ginger, turmeric, bamboo, leafy vegetables etc. Among the different ornamental horticultural crops, the region has the maximum diversity in orchids, fern and other flowering shrubs. Indigenous and minor horticultural crops available in the region are however not being exploited properly. These crops have the potentiality to alleviate the poverty, food and nutritional insecurity through processing and value addition. Most of these crops are rich in vitamins, minerals and such other bioactive molecules suitable for medicine, aromatic and food processing industries. Protocols for preparation of instant ginger candy; minimally processed ready-to-cook jack fruit; jam-jelly, fermented and non fermented beverages from different indigenous fruits and tuity fruity from chow-chow have already been standardized. These value added products if produced commercially will go a long way in increasing the area under these crops and thereby enhancing farm income and nutritional security of the farmers.
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Indian J. Genet
., 72(2): 157-167 (2012)
Abstract
Northeast India is known for its diverse nature of soil,
climate, and topography. This region is rich in diversity of
many fruits, vegetables, flowers particularly orchids,
spices, bamboo and medicinal & aromatic plants. Among
the commercial fruits of the country, maximum diversity
in citrus, banana and jack fruit are found in Northeast India.
A large number of diversity in other tropical and
subtropical fruits belonging to the genera
Garcinia,
Artocarpus, Phyllanthus, Annona, Averrhoa, Persia, Aegle,
Passiflora
and
Tamarindus
etc
. are reported from the
region. Northeast India is also rich in different genotypes
of cucurbits, solanaceous vegetables, ginger, turmeric,
bamboo, leafy vegetables etc. Among the different
ornamental horticultural crops, the region has the
maximum diversity in orchids, fern and other flowering
shrubs. Indigenous and minor horticultural crops available
in the region are however not being exploited properly.
These crops have the potentiality to alleviate the poverty,
food and nutritional insecurity through processing and
value addition. Most of these crops are rich in vitamins,
minerals and such other bioactive molecules suitable for
medicine, aromatic and food processing industries.
Protocols for preparation of instant ginger candy;
minimally processed ready-to-cook jack fruit; jam-jelly,
fermented and non fermented beverages from different
indigenous fruits and tuity fruity from chow-chow have
already been standardized. These value added products if
produced commercially will go a long way in increasing
the area under these crops and thereby enhancing farm
income and nutritional security of the farmers.
Key words: Biodiversity, Northeast, value addition,
improvement
Introduction
North East India comprises of eight states
viz.,
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur,
Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. The total area
of North East occupies 7.7 per cent of India’s total
geographic area supporting 50 per cent of the
biodiversity in the country [1], of which 31.58 per cent is
endemic. It is one of the hot spot [2] in India, known for
its diverse nature of soil, climate, and topography. This
region is rich in diversity of many fruits, vegetables,
flowers particularly orchids, spices and medicinal plants.
Apart from the commercial crops, most of the indigenous
crops are rich in vitamins, and minerals and they are
not properly exploited.
Conservation and utilization of the existing genetic
diversity under the present situation of climate change,
depletion of natural resources, faulty agro techniques
(
Jhum
cultivation) and increasing demand on the limited
resources are the major challenges for the scientists,
planners and policy makers. Many more efforts are
required for exploring the unexplored areas for collection
of horticultural biodiversity wealth. Plant genetic
resources are our heritage which needs conservation
for posterity. PPV &FRA may play a crucial role in
protecting these unexplored germplasm of the region
for future use.
Diversity of horticultural crops in Northeast India
The horticultural crops grown in this region range from
tropical and sub-tropical to temperate fruits, vegetables
and flowers both indigenous and introduced crops.
Tuber and rhizomatous crops like sweet potato,
colocasia, ginger and turmeric grow abundantly, while
plantation crops like cashew nut, black pepper have
been introduced recently. Apart from these, underutilized
crops like passion fruit, kiwi fruit, chow-chow and others
are grown in some areas.
Fruit crops
Northeast India is the citrus depository of our country
where many citrus species are originated.
Khasi
mandarin
(
Citrus reticulata
) is widely cultivated in
*Corresponding author’s e-mail: bidyutdeka@yahoo.com
Published by Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding, F2, First Floor, NASC Complex, PB#11312, IARI, New Delhi 110 012
Online management by indianjournals.com
Horticultural diversity in North-East India and its improvement for
value addition
Bidyut C. Deka*, A. Thirugnanavel, R. K. Patel1, Amit Nath1 and Nishanth Deshmukh1
ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Jharnapani, Nagaland
1ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Barapani, Meghalaya
158
Bidyut C. Deka et al.
[Vol. 72, No. 2
Northeast India and Sweet orange (
Citrus sinensis)
is
also commercially grown in some of the places in the
region. Apart from the most commonly cultivated species
Citrus indica
Tanaka (Indian wild orange),
C. latipes
(Swingle),
C. ichangensis
Swingle (Ichang Papeda),
C.
medica
,
Citrus assamensis
,
Citrus macroptera
and
C.
hystrix
were reported to occur in the subtropical forests
of North-East India and the foot hills of the East
Himalayas [3-6].
Maximum genetic variability of
Musa acuminata
and
M. balbisiana
occurs in NE India.
M. flaviflora
is
localized to Manipur and Meghalaya. National Bureau
of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) in 1986 collected
some of the important land races of banana (Seeded
Ladiarit and Ladison, Rigitchi and other elite types,
Hatigola, Eboke, Ginde, Egitchi and Essing) from
Meghalaya. There are other species found in
Khasi
Hills,
which need systematic collection and conservation. Rich
diversity occurs in
Pyrus, Rubus, Ribes and Prunus
.
The Shillong plateau of
Khasi
hills in Meghalaya have
many
Prunus
species such as
P. nepalensis
,
P. undulata
and
P. cerasoides
.
Pyrus pyrifolia
var. cubha makai (
P.
serotina
Red) and some of them are grown semi
commercially in Meghalaya.
A large number of other tropical and subtropical
fruits belonging to the genera
Garcinia, Artocarpus,
Phyllanthus, Annona, Averrhoa, Persia, Aegle, Passiflora
and
Tamarindus
etc
., are found growing wild in the
region. One of the indigenous fruits that require attention
is jackfruit, which grows abundantly in Tripura, Assam,
Nagaland and Meghalaya with a large number of
cultivars and land races.
Of the 300 edible plant species found in the NE
region, some of them are really worth consuming by
various ethnic groups of the region. Two species of
Elaegnus
,
viz
.,
E. latifolia
and
E. pyriformis
are known
to be grown in NE region [7]. It is quite common in
Sibsagar (Dikho valley), Naga Hills,
Khasi
and Jaintia
hills.
Docynia indica
and
D. hookeriana
are commonly
found in the region.
Pyrus pashia,
a medium sized
deciduous fruit tree is also found in NE region.
Thejangulie
et al
. [8, 9] reported two types of tree tomato
(Dark red cultivar and yellow cultivar. The dark red
cultivar is rich in Total Soluble Solid (TSS) (11.43 %),
acidity (1.66 %), ascorbic acid (253 mg/100 g) and
anthocyanin (7.2 mg/100g), whereas the yellow colour
cultivar is rich in moisture (83.57 %), lycopene (6.32
mg/100g) and carotene (0.65 mg/100g). The details of
underutilized fruits which are commonly available in this
region was documented by Patel
et al.
[10] and
presented in Table 1.
Soh-Shang (
Elaeagnus latifolia
) is one of the
important underutilized fruit crops widely distributed in
Northeast India. Wide variability is observed in this fruit.
The fruits are rich in bioactive compounds and fairly
rich in essential fatty acids. Patel
et al
. [11] analyzed
the different genotypes of Soh-Shang for their chemical
properties (Table 2).
The physio-chemical properties of some
underutilized fruits were analyzed by Patel
et al
. [12] in
ICAR, Meghalaya and presented in Table 3. They
reported that these underutilized fruits can be utilized
for preparing value added products.
Vegetable crops
Vegetables comprising of solanaceous, cucurbitaceous,
leguminous, leafy, cole, root, rhizomatous and bulbous
crops constitute one of the biggest groups of cultivated
plants. About 16,000 germplasm accessions of different
vegetables, tuber, spices and condiments crops were
collected through several crop specific and multicrop
expeditions conducted by NBPGR alone or in
collaboration with other institutes during the period 1986
to 1994-95 [13].
North Eastern region is the home for several
solanaceous plants. It is estimated that at least 35
species belonging to family solanaceae occur in the
region. Out of these, the inhabitants, particularly the
tribal population consume 15-16 species as vegetable.
Important but less known edible species among these
are tree tomato (
Cyphomandra betacea
(cav.) Sendt.,)
Solanum torvum
Sw.,
Solanum indicum
,
Solanum
macrocarpun
L.,
Solanum xanthocarpum
,
Solanum
straminifolium
Jacq. and
S. gilo
Raddi and among then
S. gilo is high prized vegetable of Khasi and Mizo tribes
[14].
Chilli (
Capsicum
spp.) is usually grown in warm
to hot and humid climate in Manipur, Mizoram,
Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.
The chilli species like
C. annum
L. var.
avicular
,
C.
annum
L. var.
grossum
,
C. annum
L. var
longum
,
C.
chinense, C. eximium, C. frutescens, C. minimum
, and
C. pubescens
are available in this region. King chilli is
the world’s most pungent chilli (Guinness world record
in September 2006) originated in Northeast India
particularly in Nagaland and is cultivated throughout the
region. Cucurbits, one of the largest groups of vegetable
crops is widely cultivated in all the states of this region.
Fifteen genera of this group of vegetables are found in
this region and many of them are lesser known [8].
Kakrol (
Momordica cochinchinesis
) and Kartoli (
M.
May, 2012]
Horticultural diversity in Northeast India and its improvement for value addition
159
Table 1. Underutilized fruit crops of Northeast region
Scientific name Common/ local name Family Distribution
Actinidia strigosa
Wild kiwi Actinidaceae Sikkim
A. callosa
Wild kiwi Actinidaceae Arunachal Pradesh
Baccaurea sapida
(Roxb.) Leteku Euphorbiaceae Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam,
Muell.-Arg. A.P., Tripura
Averrhoea carambola
L Carambola (Star fruit), Oxalidaceae Meghalaya, Assam
Soh Pyrshong
Docynia indica Indian crab apple, Rosaceae Khasi hill (Meghalaya), Sikkim
D. hookeriana
(
Eriolobus indica
Schn.) Soh-pho (Khasi)
Emblica officinalis
Aonla Euphorbiaceae All NE States
Elaeagnus latifolia
Linn. Soh-shang (Khasi) Elaeagnaceae North east frontier tracts,
E. pyrifolia
lower Assam Meghalaya
Garcinia lanceaefolia
Thekera tenga Clusiaceae Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland,
(Assamese) Assam
Myrica esculenta
M. nagi
Soh-phie (Khasi) Myricaceae All north eastern hill region
Myrica fraquhariana
Soh-phie (Khasi) Myricaceae Sibsagar (Dikho valley Assam), Naga
hills, Khasi & Jaintia hill (Meghalaya)
Passiflora edulis
P. edulis
var. Passion fruit (Soh-rub) Passifloraceae Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur,
flavicarpa
Nagaland, Sikkim
Pyrus pashia
Soh-shur (Khasi) Rosaceae Khasi & Jaintia hills (Meghalaya)
Prunus nepalensis
Soh-iong (Khasi) Rosaceae Khasi and Jaintia hills (Meghalaya)
Dillenia indica
Otenga (Assamese) Dilleniaceae Meghalaya, Assam
Machilus edulis King. Syn. Percea
Pumsi (Sikkim) Lauraceae Sikkim, A.P. and other NE Region
fructifera Kost
Table 2. Chemical fruit properties of Soh-shang genotypes of Meghalaya
Genotypes Fruit wt TSS Acidity pH Ascorbic acid TSS: acidity
(g) (%) (%) (mg/100 g pulp) ratio
RCE-1 15.17 8.9 3.74 3.1 4.8 2.38
RCE-2 22.94 9.0 4.03 3.1 4.8 2.23
RCE-3 15.29 8.8 3.23 3.2 9.6 2.72
RCE-4 6.73 11.2 1.96 3.7 9.4 5.71
RCE-5 13.51 9.2 3.37 3.2 7.2 2.73
RCE-6 10.74 10.0 3.07 3.3 7.2 3.26
Mean 14.06 9.52 3.23 3.27 7.17 3.17
dioica
) are widely spread in Assam and the Garo hills
of Meghalaya [15]. The details of cucurbits genotypes
in Northeast India are given in the Table 5.
Wide variety of indigenous leafy vegetables like
amaranth spp
Amaranthus viridis
,
A. lividus
,
A.
retroflexus
and
A. spinosus
, puroi sag (
Basella rubra
and
B. alba
), sorrel (
Rumex rasicarius
), jilmilsag
(
Chenopodium album
) and Kalmou sag (
Ipomea
reptans
) are grown in North East India [16]. Leafy
vegetables like
Houttuynia cordata Thunb, Fagopyrum
cymosum,
Justica, Rauvolfia, Rheum, Piper,
Centella
asiatica, Plantago major,
Alisma, Monochoria,
Adhatoda
viscia, Eeringium foetidum, Leucas aspera,
Homalomena, Begonia, Abelmoschus,
Mentha
160
Bidyut C. Deka et al.
[Vol. 72, No. 2
Table 3. Physico-chemical parameters of a few indigenous fruits of NE Region
Fruit Fruit Fruit Fruit Pulp Juice TSS Acidity
length (cm) diameter (cm) weight (g) weight (g) content (%) (%)
Tader 6.00 3.93 47.55 - - - 5.4
Belam 3.24 2.70 13.87 10.83 - 8.0 -
Empe 2.59 2.53-2.0 7.66 - - - -
Hisir 3.27 2.11 8.73 5.61 - - -
Tayek Ekse 2.40 2.43 10.04 5.13 - - -
Elaichi Nimbu (Smooth skin) 8.38 6.95 204.76 120.29 27.27 6.5 5.21
Elaichi Nimbu (Rough skin) 8.95 7.60 252.50 151.00 35.00 6.0 4.86
Tanyum 9.03 6.63 173.31 92.444 16.90 6.7 5.60
Rabab Tenga 11.05 11.40 575.00 474.55 151.50 10.2 1.73
Kodok Dogli 8.4 2.87 36.91 17.54 - 15.5 -
Kodok Dogyo 9.05 3.02 36.7 18.125 - 9.6 -
Kolu 11.0 2.09 30.37 16.03 - - -
Table 4. Diversity of Solanaceous species in Northeast (NE) region of India
Cultivates species Specific features
Solanum macrocarpon
L. Introduced in NE region
Solanum xanthcarpum
Schard & Wendl Used as vegetable and medicinal purpose
Solanum indicum
L. Domesticated, used as vegetable and medicine
Solanum mammosum
L. Possibly introduced, ornamental with high solasodine percentage
Solanum Khasianum
Clarke Wild and cultivated for solasodine alkaloid
Solanum torvum
Swartz. Wild, sold in the market in Mizoram
Solanum berbisetum
Nees Ripe fruits are eaten
Solanum ferox
L. Wild, leaves are used medicinally
Solanum spirale
Roxb. Wild but domesticated for medicinal use in Arunahcal Pradesh
Solanum sisymbrifolium
Lam. Native of Africa, wildly grown in Meghalaya
Solanum kurzii
Br. Endemic in Garo hills, Meghalaya
Solanum gilo
Raddi. Introduced in NE region as vegetable
arvensis, Spilanthes acemellla,
Brassica,
Bacopa
monnieri, Amaranthus viridis, Comelina bangelensis,
Colocasia esculenta, Oxalis corniculata,
Rumex,
Chenopodium album
and different species of bring
numbered species in order 1-11 etc. are commonly
available in kitchen garden and forest of the region more
particularly in Meghalaya. The nutritional properties of
some of the leafy vegetables were also analyzed [17]
and the data are presented in Table 6.
High genetic diversity for tuber and rhizomatous
crops
viz
.,
Ipomea batatus, Colocasia esculenta,
Amorphophalous bulbifera, Amorphophallus
paeoniifolius, Amorphophallus campanulatus, Dioscorea
alata, D. bulbifera
,
D. oenitophylla
,
D. esculenta,
D.pubera, D. arachnida
D.belophylla
,
D. trinervia
,
D.
wattii
,
D. sativa
D. kamoonensis
,
D. pentaphylla
,
D.
cylendrica,
D. hamiltonii, D. oppositifolia
and
D. prazeri
are found in Northeastern region [16, 18, 19]. Ginger
and turmeric are very popular and commercially
cultivated in Northeast.
May, 2012]
Horticultural diversity in Northeast India and its improvement for value addition
161
it plays a very crucial role in livelihood of the tribal
people. Around 50 per cent of bamboo species in India
are available in Northeast, among them, 12 species are
rare and endangered [23]. Arunachal Pradesh itself has
12 genera and 30 species [24]. The important bamboo
species available in Northeast India are
Bambusa
balcoa, B. pallida, B. nutans, B. tulda, B. cacharensis, B.
arundinacea, Dendrocalamus giganteus,
D. hookerii,
D. sikkimensis, D. hamiltonii, D. sahnii, D. asper,
Cephalostacyum pergracile, B. variegate, B. vittata,
Zoram local, B. balcoa, B. khasiana, B. nana, Hard jati,
B. cacherensis, B. japonica, Arundinaria hirsute, A.
manii, Phyllostachys pubescens, P. polymorphum, B.
multiplex, Teinostachym helferii, B. Polymorpha, C.
armata, Chimonobambusa grafithiana, B. wamin, Khupri,
Ochlandra ebracteata, Arundinaria gracilis, A. maling,
A. racemosa, B. longispiculata, B. vulgaris,
Chimonobambusa callosa, D. patellaris
and
Gigantochloa albociliata
.
Medicinal plants
The tribal communities in Northeast India are well aware
of the wild plants having medicinal values. The tribal
Flower crops
The commercial crops like rose, anthurium, lilium, and
gerbera are introduced and commercially cultivated in
open and protected cultivation. Orchids are very popular
and Northeast is known for its rich diversity. Of 17,000
species of orchids in the world, about 1,250 occur in
India and about 700 occur in the north eastern region,
of which around 324 occur in Meghalaya alone [20].
The native species of orchids having ornamental value
and market potential usually belong to Aerides,
Anachnantha, Arundina, Cymbidium, Dendrobium,
Paphiopedillium, Phaius, Renanthera, Phycostyllus and
Vanda etc. [21]. Fourty orchid species belonging to 16
genera were evaluated for their potential for cut flowers.
Among the species evaluated
Calanthe masuca
,
Cymbidium giganteum, Dendrobium nobile, Phaius
tankervilliae, Renanthera imschootiana, Thunia
marshalliana, Vandacoerulea
were found promising as
cut flowers [22].
Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the important crops of Northeast and
Table 5. Diversity of cucurbits in Northeast India
Cultivates species Area of concentration Range of diversities
Cucurbita maxima
Throughout the country Extensive
Cucurbita moschata
Hilly areas Moderate
Cucurbita ficifolia
Meghalaya Introduced, neutralized
Cucurbita pepo
Meghalaya, Mizoram Limited
Coccinia grandis
Assam, West Bengal Limited
Cucumis sativus
Throughout the country Wide
Cucumis callosus
Foothill areas of Assam Confined to limited pockets
Luffa acutangula
. Tropical areas of Assam Wide
Luffa cylindrica
Tropical and subtropical areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Moderate
Manipur, West Bengal
Momordica charantia
. Throughout the country Moderate
Momordica cochinchinensis
Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, West Bengal Limited
Momordica dioca
Garo Hills Rare
Trichosanthus anguina
Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam, West Bengal Limited
Trichosanthus dioca
. Tropical areas of Assam, Tripura Limited
Cylanthera pedata
Hills of Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Moderate
Arunachal Pradesh
Benincasa hispida
Asssam, Nagaland, Meghalaya Wide
Lagenaria siceraria
Throughout the country Wide
Sechium edule
High hills of Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Moderate
Sikkim and Darjeeling of West Bengal
162
Bidyut C. Deka et al.
[Vol. 72, No. 2
Nagaland, 194 from Tripura [25, 26] and 834 species
from Meghalaya have medicinal value and these plants
have been used by the tribal community of this region
for the time immemorial. The important plant species
having medicinal value are listed below in the Table 7.
Value addition and post harvest management of
horticultural crops
Indigenous and minor horticultural crops available in
the region are not being exploited properly, but they
have the potential to alleviate the poverty, food and
nutritional security through processing, value addition
and diverse use. These fruits and vegetables are rich
in vitamins and minerals. Besides, they are rich in
secondary metabolites and medicinal properties which
could be exploited in industrial and medicinal sectors.
Moreover, these underutilized crops are having the
capability of growing in adverse environmental
conditions. The farmers of Northeast have the
awareness about these crops and their medicinal
values. Moreover, many of the farmers use these
properties to cure some diseases. However, these crops
are not grown commercially and confined either in
backyard garden or in the forest.
Table 6. Nutritive value of leafy vegetables of NE region of India
Vegetables Protein Minerals Crude fibre Calcium Phos-phorus Iron
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg) (mg)
Amaranthus caudatus 3 3.3 1.0 200 40 -
Amaranthus gangeticus 4.0 2.7 1.0 397 83 3.49
Amaranthus paniculatus 5.9 3.8 2.1 530 60 18.4
Amaranthus spinosus 3.0 3.6 1.1 800 50 22.9
Chenopodium album (jilmil) 3.7 2.6 1.8 150 80 4.2
Bottle gourd leaves 2.3 1.7 1.3 80 59 -
Colocasia leaves (black) 6.8 2.5 1.8 460 125 0.98
Colocasi leaves (green) 3.9 2.2 2.9 227 82 10.0
Curry leaves 6.1 4.0 6.4 830 57 0.93
Drumstick leaves 6.7 2.3 0.9 440 70 0.85
Fenugreek leaves 4.4 1.5 1.1 395 51 1.93
Garden sorrel (Chuka sak) 0.6 0.9 1.3 130 20 1.7
Ipomoea leaves (kolmow) 2.9 2.1 1.2 110 46 3.9
Mustard leaves 4.0 1.6 0.8 155 26 16.3
Radish leaves 3.8 1.6 1.0 265 59 0.09
Dhekia (ferns) - 13.15 7.8 - - -
Table 7. Medicinal crops of Northeast region
Name of the species Common uses against
disease
Panax psuedoxinseng
AIDS
Hydnocarpus curzii
Leprosy
Litsea cubeba
Paralysis
Clerodendrum
Heart disease
colebrookianum
Coptis teeta
Malaria
Vitex trifolia
Tuberculosis
Aconitum heterophyllum
Diabetes and rheumatism
Alpinia galanga
Skin disease
Curcuma caesia
Swellings, sprains
Taxus baccata
Breast cancer
Acorus calamus
Influenza, headache,
cough, cold
Ambrosia artimisifolia
wounds, cuts
Antidesma brunius
syphilic ulcers
Achyranthes aspera
leprosy
people are using these plants for treating various
ailments. It was reported that 200 species from
Arunachal Pradesh, 256 from Assam, 526 from
May, 2012]
Horticultural diversity in Northeast India and its improvement for value addition
163
Table 8. Details of the crops utilized for different commercial products
Products Name of the species
Pickle
Artocapus heterophyllus, Atlantia monophylla, Ehretia accuminata, Eleagnus umbellate, Elaeocarpus
floribundus, Mangiferea sylvatica, Averrhoea carambola, Emblica officinalis, Citrus medica
Jam
Emblica officinalis, Averrhoea carambola, Prunus nepalensis, Roselle
Jelly
Ficus auriculata, F. hispida, F. semicordata, Flacourtia jangomas, Garcinia lanaceafolia
Preserve
Citrus medica, Cornus capitata, Corlaria nepaulensis, Docynia hookeriana
Beverages
Aegle marmelos, Dillenia indica, Diospyros lotus, Grewia sapida, Feronia limmonia, Myrica esculenta,
Garcinia lancaefolia, Prunus nepalensis
Fibre
Artocarpus chaplasa, A. lakoocha, Grewia sapida, Ananas sativus, Musa paradisiaca
Essential oil
Gaultheria fragrantissima, Juglans regia, Litsea cubeba, Madhuca longifolia, Messua ferrea, Assam
lemon, Kachai lemon,
alpinia, cinnamomum, cymbopogon, ocimum, pogostemon
Dye
Aporusca dioica, Baccaurea sapida, Garcinia lanceafolia, Myrica nagi,
curcuma
Table 9. Sensory quality of Jam with variable juice
content
Juice/ pulp % Sensory score
Passion fruit Jam Sohiong Jam
50 6.7 5.4
60 6.7 6.3
70 7.4 7.4
80 8.1 7.7
90 5.5 8.2
100 5.0 7.4
Potential underutilized horticultural crops for value
addition
Underutilized horticultural crops can be exploited for
processing as most of them are rich in nutritive and
medicinal values, but are highly perishable in nature.
The protocols for preparation of instant ginger candy,
minimally processed ready to cook jack fruit, jam from
Prunus nepalensis
, roselle, RTS beverages from
Dillenia
indica, Myrica esculenta, Assam lemon, Prunus
nepalensis
and tuity fruity from chow-chow have been
standardized. Different species used for preparation of
products like pickle, jam etc. are give in Table 8.
Preservation of green ginger and ginger candy
Northeast India is famous for ginger cultivation.
However, the tribal farmers are facing problem in the
marketing of fresh ginger rhizomes. The green ginger
can be preserved up to 8-10 months without affecting
its quality in the 9 per cent brine solution containing 2
per cent citric acid [27]. Nath
et al
. [28] standardized
the procedure for making instant ginger candy (Fig. 1).
6-7 months old rhizomes
Uniform slices (10 mm)
Blanching
Dipping in syrub with miminum heating
Drying in tray drier
Packaging and storage
Fig. 1. Steps involved in making ginger candy
Minimally processed ready-to-cook jack fruit
Artocapus
sp is widely found throughout the Northeast.
The tribal people use jack leaves as fodder for their
cattles. The ripe fruits are nutritious and rich in vitamins
and minerals. The tribal community uses immature fruit
as vegetable. ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region
[29] standardized the protocol (Fig. 2) for minimally
processed ready-to-cook jack fruit. The product can be
stored for a period of 6-8 months.
164
Bidyut C. Deka et al.
[Vol. 72, No. 2
Peeling of green jack fruits
Made into small pieces
Dipping into KMS solution
Blanching in water
Filling into glass jars (150g)
Covering with dip solution
Sealing and storage at ambient temperature
Fig. 2. Steps involved in processing of ready-to-cook
jack fruit
Chow-chow Tuity fruity
Chow-chow (
Sechium edule
) is very popular in
Northeast particularly in Mizoram and Meghalaya. In
peak season, there is glut in the market and the farmers
receives poor price. ICAR Research Complex for NEH
Region has standardized the protocol (Fig. 3) for making
tuity-fruity from chow-chow which could be highly
remunerative to the farmers [30].
Mature chow chow
Cut into desired size
Dipping in Sohiong juice
Dipping in ginger juice
Heating in sugar syrub
Drying and packing
Fig. 3. Steps of fruity-fruity preparation from chow-chow
Jam from passion fruit and Prunus nepalensis
Passion fruit (
Passiflora edulis
) and Sohiong (
Prunus
nepalensis
) are the important underutilized fruit crops
in Northeast India. However, the fruits are sour in taste.
ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region [31] has
standardized the protocol for making jam from these
fruits. Good quality jam could be prepared with 80 and
90% juice of passion fruit and sohiong, respectively
(Table 9).
Bamboo shoots pickle
Northeast India is rich in bamboo genotypes suitable
for pickle preparation. Bhagwati and Deka [32] screened
different bamboo species to identify the suitability for
pickle preparation. Among the species evaluated
Bamboosa balcooa
was identified as the best species
for preparation of pickle (Table 10).
Mirika tenga (Parameria polyneura)
Mirika tenga (
Parameria polyneura
) is a very popular
and important minor fruit indigenous to Northeast India
and is consumed as fresh fruit when it is ripened. The
fruit is very sour in taste and rich in vitamin C [33]. The
authors revealed that the fruit can be suitably utilized
for preparation of value added products like jelly,
chutney, pickle etc. (Table 11).
Strategies for improvement of indigenous/
commercial horticultural crops of North East India
To tap the vast underutilized or less utilized horticultural
crops for nutritional security and income generation, the
following steps will go a long way in commercialization
of these crops. Steps for development of appropriate
technology for their improvement must be initiated
immediately so as to harness the potentiality of these
crops.
Pineapple
(i) Development of varieties having cylindrical
shaped fruits for processing industries
(ii) Technologies for increasing the sweetness of fruits
harvested during winter season
Khasi mandarin
(i) Organic crop improvement technologies to
minimize the pre and post harvest diseases
(ii) Mass propagation technology as a substitute to
budding/ grafting
Passion fruit
(i) Development of disease resistant varieties (Stem
swelling) for better juice yield
(ii) Mass propagation technologies and its
popularization
May, 2012]
Horticultural diversity in Northeast India and its improvement for value addition
165
(ii) Pruning and training technology
Other Minor fruits
(i) Development/ identification of suitable cultivars for
processing and value addition
(ii) Mass propagation technology for quality planting
materials
(iii) Pruning and training technology
Chow chow
(i) Identification/ development of suitable cultivars for
processing and value addition
(ii) Standardization of maturity indices for better
processing quality
Tree tomato
(i) Identification/ development of suitable cultivars
having higher TSS and Vitamin C
(ii) Mass propagation technology for better quality
planting materials
Colocasia and other tuber crops
(i) Identification/ development of acridity free or low
varieties for both leave and tuber purpose
(ii) Standardization of maturity indices for better
processing quality
Leafy vegetables
(i) Identification/ development of HYV for better
quality
(ii) Sound seed/planting material production
programme
(ii) Technology standardization for minimal
processing and packaging
Ginger
(i) Development/ identification of varieties having
higher rhizome and oil yield
(ii) Sound organic technology for export market
(iii) Standardization of maturity indices for better oil
content and other processed products
Table 11. Parameters of the value added products of Mirika tenga
Parameters Jam Jelly Chutney Squash Pickle S.Ed ± CD0.05
Colour 7.50 8.60 8.40 7.40 8.53 0.24 0.54
Flavour 7.00 8.00 7.80 7.60 8.33 0.37 0.83
Taste 7.40 7.80 7.90 7.60 8.13 0.24 NS
Consistency 7.00 8.13 8.14 7.86 8.40 0.13 0.28
Overall acceptability 7.00 8.33 8.00 7.86 8.26 0.19 0.42
Table 10. Biochemical properties of pickle prepared from bamboo shoots
Class of Name of the species TSS Crude Total Ascorbic Overall
bamboo (%) fiber(%) alkaloid (%) acid sensory
(mg/100 g) score
Bhaluka
Bambusa balcooa
7.74 7.50 0.19 1.410 8.00
Jati
Bambusa tulda
6.74 7.50 0.25 1.060 6.43
Mokal
Bambusa nutans
5.74 8.00 0.26 0.920 5.83
Kako
Dendrocalamix homiltonii
4.74 7.50 0.21 0.894 6.79
Kako (Var)
Dendrocalamix homiltonii var.
5.74 7.50 0.21 0.893 6.79
giganteus
Dolo
Temostochym dulooa
5.74 7.50 0.22 0.890 5.17
Bijuli
Bambusa pallid
5.74 12.00 0.23 0.756 5.00
Bajal
Bambusa polymorpha
4.74 12.00 0.23 0.916 6.17
Muli
Melooanno bambusoides
5.74 12.00 0.23 0.789 5.43
Exotic
Bambusa bamboos
6.7 10.00 0.22 1.060 5.27
CD= 0.05 1.616 3.007 NS 0.244 1.540
166
Bidyut C. Deka et al.
[Vol. 72, No. 2
Turmeric
(i) Development/ identification of varieties having
higher rhizome yield, dry matter and curcumin
content
(ii) Sound organic technology for export market
(iii) Standardization of maturity indices for better
curcumin content and other processed products
Chillies
(i) Identification/ development of multiple disease
resistant varieties having higher capsaicin and oil
content
(ii) Low cost drying technology for North eastern
region
Bamboo
(i) Identification/ Development of varieties exclusively
for value added product
(ii) Standardization of maturity indices for different
value added products
There is great potential for underutilized
horticultural crops in Northeast India. These
underutilized crops are rich in vitamins and minerals
and many of the crops have medicinal properties too.
They can be effectively exploited to supply balanced
diet to the tribal communities of this region. Priority
should be given to exploration, characterization,
conservation, and protection of these germplasms. The
strategies for standardization of technologies and crop
improvement for these crops should be initiated with
prime importance to exploit them for value addition,
processing and secondary metabolite production.
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Indian Food
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