HARVESTING

PRE HARVEST
HARVEST
POST HARVEST


PER-HARVEST, HARVEST AND POST- HARVEST OPERATIONS

The quality of any commodity depends upon the inputs used and the practices adopted in its cultivation, processing, packing, storing and transportation. In the case of agricultural products, therefore, constant care right from seed material till the product reaches the consumers becomes imperative. The quality of Large Cardamom refers to its physical appearance, flavour and aroma. The colour, size, shape, level of moisture and cleanliness are the factors influencing the external appearance while its chemical composition decides the intrinsic quality.

The harvested fresh cardamom contains 72-85% moisture. The colour of the fresh capsule may be light pinkish, brownish pink or dark pinkish depending on the variety and becomes darker after curing. The retention of natural colour in the coures of curing is a positive index of quality. The flavour constituents are highly volatile and easily lost when subjected to direct heat and high temperature.

Consumers prefer bold capsules with uniform size having its original dark pink colour. The produce should be free from fungal growth, dust particles or any foreign materials. The cardamom should be dried properly. There should not be any Smokey smell and charred appearance. In general, clean and hygienic products with good appearance are preferred in the market. The natural colour, flavour and its aroma are lost due to mismanagement and defective ways of handling during the course of harvesting, curing, packing and storing.

The following are the important points to be remembered at the various stages.

PRE- HARVEST

  1. Use only high yielding varieties having colour and uniform bold capsules for planting.
  2. Planting material should be procured from disease free areas.
  3. Control of pests may be carried out with minimum use of recommended insecticides. As far as possible use bio- pesticides. Pesticides banned in the importing countries should never be used.
PRE-HARVESTING

HARVEST

  1. Harvest the crop at right maturity.
  2. Do not use pesticide/ fertilizer bags for collection of capules during harvest.
  3. Donot delay removing capsules from the spikes after harvest.
  4. Remove capsules from the outer and middle whirls and collect them in one lot and those from the inner whirls in another lot.
Harvesting

POST- HARVEST

  1. Remove extraneous matter and wash thoroughly the harvested produce before drying.
  2. Adopt flue pipe system of curing to retain the original colour, aroma and flavour.
  3. Dry the capsules immediately after harvest.
  4. Dried cardamom should not contain more than 10% moisture for better shelf life.
  5. Remove tails after drying.
  6. Grade according to size and colour and store in moist proof containers.
  7. Use polythene lined gunny bags for storing.
  8. Store in dry places and in wooden boxes.
  9. Take necessary precaution against rat and insect damages
  10. The dried cardamom may be preferably sold soon after drying provided the growers get remunerative price, as long storage may lead to deterioration of quality.



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