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Raisins are processed by sun drying and tray drying several different types of grapes. They are small and sweetly flavored with a wrinkled texture. Indian Raisins are available in different size and colors. They have a flavor similar to the grapes from which they are made, but the drying process which creates them concentrates the amount of sugar making them taste much sweeter. They are a naturally stable food and resist spoilage due to their low moisture.
The only raw material for making raisins is grapes. To make 1 kilo of raisins, over 4 Kg of fresh grapes are required. These grapes must have certain qualities in order to produce quality raisins. For example, they must ripen early and be easy to dry. Additionally, they must have a soft texture, not stick together when stored, have no seeds, and have a pleasing flavor. The most important grapes for raisin production include Thompson Seedless, Sonakka, Rudstalk. Raisin production for selected countries is forecast at almost 1.2 million metric tons (tons), up 100,000 tons from the previous year.
In India major grape growing areas are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & the north-western region covering Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra ranks first in terms of production accounting for more than 75% of total production and highest productivity in the country. Grape is one of the important fruit covering an area of 60.2 thousand hectares occupying 1.30% of the total area.
The total production of grapes in India is 1,546 thousand MT. The season starts during late March and continuing through May, the grapes are harvested. At this point in the year they are at their optimum sweetness. Bunches of grapes are handpicked by field workers and dipped in potassium carbonate solution dried on tray and then spray of dehydration oil is applied. Further dried raisins are sent for cleaning, grading, sorting, and packing process.
|Specification for Raisins|
|Type:||Golden Yellow / Dark Raisin/ Bakery Raisin/Mixed Raisin/Green Raisin/Sultana Raisin/ Brown Raisin|
|Appearance:||Round shape / Long Shape, unstuck and mildly oily|
|Color Uniformity:||90% uniform, 10% opposite color|
|Size:||300-500 berry count/100gms|
|Cap stems attached:||5%|
India exported raisins worth USD 75,082,882 with total quantity of 85,644,161. Saudi Arabia is the largest buyer of raisins accounting for exports worth USD 8,807,872 followed by Ukraine and United Arab Emirates which imported raisins worth USD 8,762,117 and USD 5,918,321 respectively.