NEW DELHI: Indian nuclear scientists say they have unpeeled one of the great mysteries of the soft-drinks world – how to extract juice from bananas cheaply and simply.
The breakthrough could lead to fizzy banana juice sold in cans and bottles, banana nectar and banana wine, they say.
Despite an 85% water content, scientists have long struggled to extract juice from the bendy fruit because when mashed it simply turns to pulp.
Costly and complicated techniques were developed to break down walls storing the moisture using enzymes.
“But in (our) process no external agent is added,” said K.K. Surendranathan of the Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
“Our technique works without using any external enzymes. We just make the banana into a pulp and it is then treated in a reaction vessel for four to six hours,” Surendranathan said.
“The viability of the technology lies in its simplicity.”
The technique extracts about 85% of the fruit's juice while the solid leftover – which also smells and tastes of banana – could be processed into confectionery items, he said.
However, few companies had expressed any interest in adapting the process for commercial use, said the scientist, who patented the technique two months ago. – AFP
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