When we talk about bananas, the first thing to come up is crispy banana chips. Do you know we can get dozens of products through value addition in bananas?
We can get banana powder, banana wine, banana puree, banana cakes, banana jams, banana drinks and banana figs. These can be obtained through value addition in bananas.
The value addition in Banana is obtained from raw, unripe as well as ripe fruits. We can powder and chip the unripe banana. Some of the varieties of bananas are Saba, Cavendish, Bungulan, Lacatan, and Latundan.
Value addition in Banana to get crispy banana chips
These days banana chips are available in the market in various forms. Crispy and salted ones are the best. When it is about Banana chips, we prefer those manufactured from South Indian states.
The crispy banana chips from Kerala which are fried in coconut oil are the most favorite ones. Crispy and crunchy banana chips are best companion for tea and coffee snacks.
The sweetened or salted banana chips are made from hard, raw Saba or Cavendish variety of banana. The banana are washed, clean and peel before slicing to thin round shapes.
These banana slice are then soaked in cooking oil, preferably coconut oil. The chips are frequently turned upside down to prevent sticking to the pan.
The sliced chips are then left in a strainer. Thus allowing the oil to drip. Then dip and fry the chips in the cooking pan, without removing from the strainer.
We have to fry the chips until the chips turn yellowish brown. Lift the strainers so that the oil is drip from the chips.
Next prepare a brix syrup or arnibal for sweetening. The fried chips are then soaked in arnibal for 4-5 minutes. Again fry the chips to become shiny. Let it cool for sometime before packing.
If you want the salted crispy banana chips, use salt instead of refined sugar. Soak the fried chips in salt solution instead of the sugary mix.
How to make banana puree?
We need ripe and mature banana to make banana puree. If we are harvesting banana from our farm, we are sure, we don’t use any chemicals in the banana.
In case, we are buying banana from the market, wash the banana carefully to remove the dirt and other chemical residues that may be present in the fruits.
These banana are then blanched with food grade steam or boiling water till 90-95 degree Celsius. Remember that a medium size, unpeeled banana takes 10-15 minutes to attain this temperature of heat.
The blanched banana are allowed to cool and peeled. The banana puree is obtained by passing peeled blanched banana in communition machines.
The puree can be frozen, canned or packed. This value addition in banana can be used in making beverage, wine, baby foods, jam, sauces and snack fruits as well.
How to make banana powder?
This value addition in banana is found to be used commercially and highly profitable in food industries.
Banana powder contains high sugar and low starch. It can be used as a substitute for fresh banana fruits in making traditional banana cakes and also in making banana based snacks, crackers and chips as pre-mixtures.
Banana powder can be prepared from banana puree. The banana puree are dried to make powder. Best quality puree with sufficient drying process gives good quality banana powder.
Good quality banana powder is determined by the color, texture, flavor and moisture content.
We can get best banana powder if we select the best varieties of banana and the ripeness of the fruit. While making banana puree for making powder, avoid immature or unripe fruits.
Blanching is also another important steps in making of banana powder. It will change the color of the powder.
How to make banana jams as value addition in banana?
We have tasted fruit jams. I think most of us have not tasted banana jams before. We can make banana jams from fresh banana.
To make this value addition in banana, puree having a total soluble solid and PH value in the range of 25-26 degree Celsius brx and 4.4-4.6 respectively must be maintained.
Banana jams can be prepared just like we make other fruit jams. The banana puree, sugar, pectin, and citric acid used in the jam should be in right proportions.
Other value addition in Banana are banana sauce, banana drinks, banana figs and banana wine. We will discuss separately on making banana wine in next post.