Carbohydrates, sugars, acids and others
Commercially available Tamarind pulp in made from the fruit of the tree Tamarindus indica of family Fabaceae. The fruit is first stripped of the brittle outer part of the pericarp and then sugar is added in suitable quaintly to preserve the pulp . The fruits are about 2-5 inches long. The epicarp is brittle and mesocarp is pulpy. The fruit is divided into four to twelve chambers, each chamber contains a single seed.
Tamarind is indigenous tropical Africa and is cultivated in Sudan, Tanzania, Camaroon, Nigeria and West Indies. In gulf region is grows wild in Oman. Tamarind trees are also found in Indian subcontinent, china, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Northern Australia and Latin America. India is the largest producer of tamarind followed by USA.
Cultivation and collection
Tamarind orchards are planted using traditional methods, fruits ripe in June, July and August. Ripe fruits are collected by shaking the trees, this method avoids damage to new buds.
Preparation of Tamarind Pulp
Outer brittle covering is removed from the collected fruits and sugar is then added to the pulp. Sugar can be added by pouring boiling sugar syrup to the fruits that are packed in layers within barrels, or by sprinkling powdered sugar over layers of fruit before they are packed inside the barrel. The sugar in the manufactured pulp, acts as a preservative, and lowers the natural proportion of acids. Tamarind pulp formed is pleasant smelling, sticky and moist mass of reddish-brown color. The pulp has a sweetish brown aroma and distinct, sweet and sour fruity taste with acidic notes. Contents of Tamarind pulp are mentioned in the given table 1.
This the pulp contains free organic acids, about 10% of tartaric, citric and malic acids,their salts( about 8 % of potassium hydrogen tartrate), a little nicotinic acid and about 30-35% of invert sugar. Tartaric acid is synthesized in the actively metabolizing leaves of the plant and then is transported to the fruits.
Tamarind pulp is used to make tamarind concentrate which has better shelf life than tamarind pulp, tamarind concentrate has better acceptability in food industry.
Tamarind concentrate is prepared by heating tamarind pulp with boiling water and soluble solids are extracted. To get high yield the pulp is sieved and concentrated under vacuum using forced circulation evaporator. The hot extract is directly filled in glass containers where it settles like jam on cooling with a soluble solid content of about 68%.
Tamarind concentrate can also be prepared by using enzymes. Pectic Enzyme Concentrate commonly known as PEC is allowed to react with Tamarind pulp for 15 hrs to give a non-viscous product, the yield here is about 70%.
General method for using tamarind pulp
Tamarind pulp is first soaked in equal amount warm water for about 10 minutes. The pulp is then squeezed and strained to get edible juice. The remaining pulp is discarded. Tamarind pulp enhances taste of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and augments spicy cuisines.
- Trease and Evans pharmacognosy 15th edition
- Science Tech Entrepreneur Dec 2006 , Tamarind