Seabuckthorn Fruit Processing …the Indian Experience

Devender Kumar Mittal, India, Ladakh Foods Ltd

In India, Seabuckthorn Fruit grows in the cold deserts of Ladakh region of J&K, in Lahul Spiti areas of Himachal Pradesh and in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The fruit grows wild and as of now, very little quantities have been processed. Compact International Ltd. – an Indian Company with the active support of Defence Research and Development Organization pioneered the processing of Seabuckthorn Fruit to manufacture Fruit Juice and Fruit Nectar. Subsequently, another Indian Company – Ladakh Foods Ltd. with the equity participation of Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India), and other national level organizations and financial institutions is setting up an integrated processing facility to manufacture Fruit Juice and extract Seed and Pulp oil from Seabuckthorn Fruit. The project has been acclaimed as the one holding maximum potential for regional development and overall growth.

The company has already come up in the market with a Fruit Juice of international class under the brand name "Leh Berry" in 250 & 1000 ml. Tetra packs with major part of the Vitamins and Nutrients intact. The product has already caught the fancy of the younger people and also finds favor with the intelligentsia. The Company has plans to manufacture Seed and Pulp oil in the forthcoming fruit season. The Company also has ambitious plans to manufacture down stream products for cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food nutrition applications as well as cosmetics. The Company has been successful in enlisting the support of the top research institutes and scientists in India for process optimization and product development.

LFL’s experience in collection, post harvest management and processing of the Fruit and its product development, packaging and marketing has been very exciting and full of challenges. The Company seeks co-operation from experienced companies’ world wide for collaboration and co-operation for scientific cultivation, post harvest management, product diversification and marketing of Seabuckthorn Fruit Juice and Oils and other down stream products.

India holds tremendous potential in respect of Seabuckthorn Fruit production and diverse varieties which can be put to specific commercial use. Ladakh Foods Ltd. look at future with confidence out of the rich experience gained during the last two years of processing of Seabuckthorn Fruit.