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1.         Product Description: Pickling is the preservation of food items in common salt or vinegar. Spices and oil are added to make the food tasteful. Pickles are good appetizers and add to the palatability of a meal. Pickles aid digestion by stimulating the flow of gastric juices Rapeseed oil, sesame oil, mustard oil, lime juice, vinegar etc are used for pickling. Some spices such as bay leaves, cardamom, chilliest, cinnamon, clove, coriander, dill herb, ginger, mace, mustard, black paper, garlic, etc. are added to the process of pickling. Some examples of pickles are cucumber pickle, turnip pickle, lime pickle, red chilies pickle, mango pickle, apple pickle, etc.


2.         Rationale: Pickling is one method of food preservation which is essential for maintaining the nutrition value of many types of crops, fruits and vegetables for a considerable length of time. Many perishable farm products are preserved for future consumption using. Pickling technology. Ethiopia being an agricultural country has many types of farm. Products which can be pickled to prevent physical and chemical deterioration and prolong the “shelf” life of these products. These will save many perishable products from being sold at much depressed prices at harvest time. The lack of technology to preserve perishable agricultural products in the country has discouraged farmers from producing these perishable products thus denying consumers the benefits of consuming these products in post harvest seasons and producers of saving them for better prices also in post- harvest seasons. All these problems point to the need of establishing pickling plants in the country for the benefit of both the producer and consumers.


3.         Market potential: There is no a single pickling plant in the whole country let alone in the Amhara Region. Hence whatever latent market there is for pickled products, is not yet exploited. Without going into any market research but by simply considering the size of the population of the country, one can easily conclude that there is a sufficient demand for pickled products in the country. The Amhara Region can take the advantage of this situation by establishing the first pickling factory in the country.


4.         Sources of Raw Material: The raw materials for pickling are farm products mainly fruits and vegetables, salt vinegar, sugar, spices and water. All these will be obtained from domestic sources.


5.         Process and technology: Pickling is done in two stages:- fermentation or salting, and finishing and packing. Fermentation or curing is done either with dry salting or in brine. In dry salting method, the vegetable is treated with dry salt. The salt extracts the juice from the vegetable and forms the brine which is fermented by lactic acid forming bacteria. Fermentation in brine is soaking of the vegetable in a salt solution by predetermined concentration for a certain length of time. This treatment is given only to vegetables like cucumbers which do not contain enough juice to form brine with dry salt. Pickled products should be packed into bottles or jars loosely so as not to damage the shape and appearance of the pieces. Fresh vinegar is then added to fill up the spaces between the pieces. The jars or bottles are then allowed to stand for a while with the lid loosely on, covered again with more vinegar, if necessary, sealed air tight. Required machinery and tools include. Reformer, flanger, seamer and can testing gauge with different chucks and attachments; pressure cooker (retort); cap sealer portable; jar washing machine, cutting and peeling knives, fruits and vegetable washing tanks; preparation tables with aluminum top and benders; utensils, trays, etc. of different sizes and shapes; glass carboy and plastic vats, weighing balance, etc.


6.         Estimated Benefits: For a plant which can produce 28 tons of bottled pickles and 7 tons of preserves per year, the estimated investment will be as follows:

·         Building 500m2 at Birr 2500/m2       =  Birr  1,250,000

·         Plant and machinery ………………  =  Birr    800,000

·         Working capital …………………… =  Birr    100,000

            Total…   = Birr   2,150,000


7.         Benefits: Stimulates production of fruits and vegetables suitable for pickling, saves foreign exchange, promotes self-sufficiency, introduces new skills and technology, and improves income of producers.


8.         Location: Any locations where the supply of “pick liable” fruits and vegetables could be produced in sufficient quantity