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PakAgriFarming

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Maintain Nutritional Value of Vegetables?

Posted by Unknown On Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vegetables are very important in our daily diet because they contain components essential for the grown and developments of our bodies. Following are a few measures which can be followed in Pakistan to preserve the nutritional value of vegetables both a farmer and consumer level.
Vegetables

INSECT-PESTS AND DISEASES

Insect-pests and diseases are major sources to cut 20-30% of vegetable production and in some cases entire crop may be destroyed. Hence vegetables should be kept safe from insect pests and diseases to control losses in yield and save nutritional value.

CONTROL STRATEGIES

To control pests and diseases, chemicals with large residual capabilities should not be used rather such chemicals should be used whose effect last only for 24 hours. Such sprayed vegetables should be used after washing.

HARVESTING AT PROPER TIME

Vegetables should be harvested at physiological maturity. For example, if melon and watermelon are picked before ripening, they will be less sweet. Similarly if peas, lady finger, gourd etc. are harvested in later stages, they become hard and are not edible.

TRANSPORTATION

For transportation to the vegetable markets, the vegetables should be harvested in the evening and taken afresh in the next morning to the market. In summer season, harvest the crop and place it under some shady place and cover it with wet cloth or bags so that it can be saved from the losses due to high temperatures.

PEELING

Most of the nutrition is lost by peeling of the vegetables. In some vegetables, leaves and peels have more contents of useful nutrients than the edible part: in these vegetables the contents may be many times great like, lipids (3 folds), calcium (6 folds), iron (4 folds), proteins (4 folds) and many times of essential and non-essential amino acids.
Such vegetables should be consumed with peels and leaves, if required, a very thin peel should be removed to save the nutritional status of the vegetable.

COOKING

Vegetables should be cooked in their own water. If required, use very small amount of water. When water starts to boil, add vegetable and do not stir it with spoon. Many proteins will be lost in this process.
Vegetables should be cooked in polished metallic pots. Pots should be clean and polished. The water, in which the vegetables were boiled should not be thrown away, it has many salts and nutrients. Similarly, onion cut for salads should not be dipped in water, because it losses its effectiveness on washing with water.
Vegetable should be cooked at high flame, because high temperature cooking results in loss of proteins. Likewise, vegetables should not be cooked in ghee or oil for longer duration.

DRY STORAGE

In the season, when there is excess of a vegetable in the market, it can be purchased at low prices, dried and used in the off season, for example, peas, turnip should be bought and sun dried. Pea beans are boiled in salt water. 
During the off-season, when these fresh vegetable is available in the market, the stored vegetable can be used for food. Similarly, onion, garlic and ginger can be dried in to powdered form and stored.