Productivity and shelf life of world acclaimed Shahi litchis of Muzaffarpur will get a fillip, with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) agreeing to transfer technology to increase their longevity from less than a week to around two months.
The BARC has come up with a mixture of generally recognised as safe (GRAS) chemicals and some preservatives to increase the shelf life of Bihar’s luscious litchis, which are in high demand in the United States, Europe and middle-east. The technology would still require maintaining cold chain for the fruit to last the distance.
“Usually litchis begin to rot within four-six days of being plucked. It begins with blackening of its upper layer of skin. With the use of ‘GRAS chemicals’ and some recognised preservatives, their shelf life will increase. It is, however, essential that cold chain is maintained after treatment of the fruit,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, assistant director, department of agriculture, Bihar.