The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MoCAFPD) announces to develop 'Technologies for Primary Processing, Storage and Valorization of Onions' via 'Grand Challenge on Onion Storage'.
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) monitors the retail and wholesale prices of 22 essential food commodities across the country. DoCA maintains buffer stocks of certain selected commodities to control price escalation so as to ensure availability at affordable prices for the common man. One such critical commodity is onion whose price fluctuates significantly due to several reasons.
Onion is a semi perishable vegetable and is harvested during rabi season accounts 65% of onion production, hits the markets from April to May. The same crop must continue to meet the consumer demand till the month of October-November every year before the kharif crop is harvested and brought to the market. It is therefore vital to successfully store onion in order meet the regular supply. It is observed that nearly 30-40% of the crop is lost during storage due to the various reasons in form of physiological weight loss, rotting, sprouting etc. In unexpected situations such as natural calamities, the losses even go beyond 50% creating heavy stress both on demand and supply sides. The losses occurred during storage are in terms of qualitative as well as in quantitative ways. Hence, it is imperative to take some crucial steps pertaining to onion storage with minimum losses to ensure the adequate supply to the market there by reducing the price fluctuations.
Primary processing also includes curing, grading and sorting, storage and other treatment to reduce sprouting like irradiation.
Onions are graded before they are stored or transported to the market. The thick necked, bolted, doubles, injured, and decayed bulbs are picked out.
Object of irradiation is to control losses due to sprouting of onions during prolonged storage. Sprouting issue can be controlled by using irradiation technique with low dose: 0.06-0.2 k Gray. Benefits include economic gain due to reduced sprouting losses which could be as 10 - 15%.
Valorization of onion waste would be alleviate the negative consequences derived from the accumulation of high antioxidant biomolecules, and also provide an economic benefit for both the onion producers and processors. Processing of onion into various ready-to-eat or ready-to-use forms would increase the consumption. Processing of onion into various products like, dehydrated flakes, powder, onion oil, minimally processed onions, onion paste etc will allow the effective utilization of onions waste.
1. Optimization of current designs to reduce the processing time and make the product economical.
2. Onion drying and dehydration:
3. Onion paste
4. Extraction of potential nutraceuticals/ bio-active compounds of onion
5. By-product and waste utilization
Prize money of Rs.25000 up to 40 teams Development
Cost up to Rs.75000 per team
Duration: 3 to 4 Months
Prize money of Rs.50000 upto 20 teams Development Cost up
to Rs.5 Lakhs per team
Status: Activated Later
One winner in each vertical and two/four runner-ups will be selected
and supported appropriately for the field deployment of the solution.
Status: Activated Later
Stage–1 (Ideation to PoC Stage):
Shortlisted teams will be asked to make a presentation to Jury. Based on the recommendations of Jury, 40 proposals on verticals will be shortlisted. The financial support of Rs. 75,000 each to develop a proof of concept (PoC) and/or a working prototype of the proposed solution within 3-4 months duration would be provided. In this stage, a workable process is to be explained to show the PoC or to design and develop a prototype to demonstrate to the Jury members consisting of experts from Academia, user agency (DoCA), MoCA, Industry, etc. The winning team of stage 1 will receive prize money of Rs.25000.