Tag Archives: ICAR

Carotenoid Rich Cucumbers

Cucumber along with raw carrots, radish, and tomatoes has been a part of salad for the time immemorial. Cucumber is also consumed as cooked and pickled form in many parts of the world. People on diet for weight control eats this vegetable as it is often regarded as a health food because of its low calorie content and its high vitamins and minerals content.

Common cucumber varieties are white to greenish inside and are of low nutritional quality. On the other hand, orange fleshed cucumber is rich in carotenoids. India, being the centre of origin for cucumbers, is known to be the treasure-house of cucumber diversity. Mostly the first variety is used as it is abundantly grown.

But in the Mamit district of Mizoram, two varieties are found which are very rich in carotenoids as high as 6.5 μg/100 g as compared to 1.17 μg/100 g in the best check variety Himangi.. They have yellow to orange mesocarp and endocarp; an extremely rare trait.

cucumber

Previously orange-flesh cucumber was reported to be derived from a land race named Xishuangbanna Gourd from a Prefecture Xishuangbanna of the Yunnan Province in the South-west China, which is closer to north-eastern part of the India. Studies indicate that orange fleshed cucumber of China (Xishuangbanna Gourd) is closely related to Indian cucumber found in Mizoram. This suggests that orange-fleshed Indian cucumber might have migrated to China from northeastern parts of the country; which is the primary centre of its origin.

All this information is from ICAR.

Pusa 1121: The longest single grain rice

Pusa 1121 is an evolved variety of Pusa Basmati rice developed by Indian scientists at PUSA. This variety of rice is known for its extraordinary length, which can be as much as 9.5 mm for a single grain which is world record length. It is in high demand among the rice loving Middle East.

Punjab and Haryana produce maximum rice of this variety. At 5 lakh tonnes annually, Ferozepur in Punjab tops the production. India and Pakistan both produce the rice in large quantities and export. Earlier the rice to Middle East was exported from Pakistan but India seemed to beat the Pakistan now.

Rough, milled and cooked rice of Pusa 1121(top), Pusa Basmati 1(middle) & Taraori Basmati (bottom)

In the Ferozepur area bordering the Pakistan, politics are being played on negotiating with Pakistan for giving train passage to rice for taking it to Karachi and from there exporting it to Middle East. The demand is made to revive the Rewari Karachi railway line which operated till independence. Channan wala is the last station in the Indian side. There is also demand for opening an truck route from Hussainiwala on the lines of Attari route. Below is the chart comparing rough, milled and boiled with two more varieties