How Chikoo fruit dehydration is helping save our planet

How chikoo fruit dehydration is helping save our planet

Food supply chain and processing are essential activities for humans on our planet Earth. All our daily essential groceries reach the store near us and to our homes due to this highly organized industry. However essential the food supply chain is for our sustenance it has a heavy carbon footprint which is a major contributor to climate change. 

Another major concern of the food supply chain is post harvest wastage which adds to the direct losses. It is estimated that over 16-20% of food produced in India is wasted due to lack of post harvest technologies. We can only wish that more farm based, renewable energy driven food processing techniques are deployed to reduce the impact of this industry on our planet.  

One such small but significant step in the industry is dehydration of fresh fruit and vegetables on or near to the farms using solar dryers. Chikoo fruit processing using this technique in Dahanu Gholvad is proving to be of more worth not only to the planet but also to the complete value chain in many ways. 

Ruwan Foodtech LLP (owners of the brand Aura Green) based in Bordi, Dahanu are India’s largest producer of sun dried chikoo slices. They have over 200 acres of Chikoo farms which ensures the best quality fruit is used for processing. Further they have deployed India’s best solar dryers made by globally acclaimed S4S Technologies. The combination of quality raw material and modern farm based processing techniques ensures consistent output. Over the last 10 years they have processed more than 300 tons of Chikoo fruit which in its dry form is an easy to store, transport, consume & process.  

Now let’s see how this initiative is beneficial to all – 

  1. Value to the farmers –

Creating value from fruit that ripens on farm and cannot be sent to the market

Processing fruit when market prices crash in peak season

Process efficient than other electrical dryers, spray dryers or freeze dryers

Additional source of income from micro entrepreneurship to farmers and women

  1. Positive impact on climate change and carbon footprint

Zero carbon emission processing technique using modern solar dryers

80% reduction in weight compared to fresh/ frozen fruit, leads to 80% less carbon emissions in transportation

Elimination of refrigerated supply chain of frozen fruit, further reduction in carbon footprint

1 unit of electricity is saved per kg of dried chikoo processed using solar dryers

Carbon emissions from 0.8 ltr of diesel is reduced in transportation of 20 kgs of dried chikoo from Dahanu to Mumbai  


  1. Easy for consumers to buy, store, carry & consume

Chikoo being a perishable fruit needs to be consumed in 1-2 days

Whereas Dry chikoo is easy to store, carry and consume which can be enjoyed any time

Solar drying in modern dryers keeps the nutrients intact

There is no added sugar, preservatives or any other chemicals added to dry chikoo


  1. Easy for processing industry to make ice creams, milkshake, kulfi etc

Chikoo fruit is difficult to process in large quantities since the process is labor intensive.

Dry chikoo made by Aura Green is a ready to process ingredient. 

Can be directly used by HORECA industry for making high value products like

Ice cream, milk shakes, kulfi, mithai, energy bars etc.


  1. Dry fruit category commodity for traders

Due to its perishable nature Chikoo cannot be exported to other countries, Chikoo needs to be peeled and frozen for export.

However sun dried chikoo can be exported without a refrigerated supply chain.

Traders get a non-perishable commodity which has a higher demand.


The value proposition from dehydration of Chikoo fruit using modern solar dryers is probably the highest any fruit has gained in India. It is beneficial for everyone in the value chain and more importantly to save our planet Earth from climate change.   


Dahanu Gholvad Bordi Chikoo Gets GI Tag from Government of India

Dahanu Gholvad Bordi Chikoo (Sapota Manilkara) Fruit gets GI Tag !!

Dahanu,Gholvad, Bordi a horticultural hub 120 kms north of Mumbai on the Maharashtra – Gujarat border was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its Chikoo (Sapota Manilkara) fruit. 


For over 100 years this region has been home to Chikoo horticulture in India. Maharashtra Rajya Chikoo Utpadak Sangh put in efforts to give due credentials for the quality produce and with help from GI experts presented its case to the Ministry of IP, Government of India in 2015. After almost 2 years of  analysis and study of Chikoo fruit from various parts of the country the Ministry of IP awarded the coveted recognition to this region for producing the most flavorful and nutritious Chikoos.  


Officials of Maharashtra Rajya Chikoo Utpadak Sangh have said that the unique sweet taste, soft creamy texture and high nutrition of Chikoo from this region are attributed to the high calcium content in the soil. The fruit is nutritious as it contains Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C and many other minerals essential for our body. The fruit also contains a good amount of fiber which helps in digestion and weight loss. One more interesting fact about Chikoo horticulture in this region is that there is harvest round the year, with the peak season being November to March. 


Chikoo from Dahanu Gholvad Bordi region is sold across markets in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad & Delhi. Due to its perishable nature the fruit cannot be exported in its raw form. However there is substantial demand for the fruit from the Indian & Asian diaspora living in the Middle-East, Europe and USA. With assistance from APEDA some farmers in this region had started exports to the UK through air-freight. However the high costs involved and risk due to perishability could not sustain the business. Direct cold storage is also not a suitable option for this fruit, it has to be peeled and cut in slices before freezing it. Frozen Chikoo is the best way to export this fruit. Frozen chikoo has also found application in making milkshakes, ice creams, kulfi and many other desserts.


Ruwan Foodtech LLP (under the brand Aura Green) has been processing and marketing dry chikoo fruit for over 8 years now. They say that dehydration of this fruit is the best method to overcome perishability and create a form of Chikoo which is 100% natural, easy to consume, process, store and transport. This option has opened up new avenues for farmers in this region and many of them have taken up this activity as a micro business. Ms Latika Patil, proprietor of Gold Orchards says that their income has grown by over 40%. They process the fruit when there is low demand and prices drop in the market. 


In recent times there is rapid urbanization and industrialisation in this region. Chikoo horticulture is facing multiple challenges due to these demographic changes. However the farmers are putting up an effort to keep the business sustainable and provide the most flavourful and nutritious Chikoo fruit for all of us.