Poonam Sharma and S.K. Raina
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar, (India)
Walnut is one of the most important nut crop grown in temperate regions of India, particularly UT of Jammu and Kashmir which contributes to about 98% of its total production in India. The versatility of this nut makes it ideal to be a part of a myriad of novel foods. Walnut is also easy to incorporate into human diet. It is a good source of nutrients which play an important role in the maintenance of overall health. It is considered as one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It is rich source of energy and contains many beneficial nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that are essential for well being. Walnut is highly beneficial for skin, heart, hair, type 2 diabetes, reducing obesity, fighting against cancer, stress relaxant. Nuts have been part of human diet for several thousand years. There are many ways to use walnuts. To extract the edible kernels, walnuts undergo several processing operations including harvesting, hulling drying and shelling. During these operations large quantities of by-products such as leaves, hulls, shells and broken kernels are produced often underutilized resulting in their wasted potential value. Producing high value added products from the walnut processing by-products can increase the profitability of walnut growers and lead to several environmental and socioeconomic benefits. Presently in J&K walnuts are mostly consumed as fresh in the form of walnut kernels and some broken walnut kernels are being used by baking industry for development of walnut pastry, a novel product of Kashmir for its good organoleptic, nutritional and healthy characteristics. An attempt has been made in this investigation for utilization of broken walnut kernels for development of value added products viz. roasted walnut kernels, jaggary coated candid walnuts, walnut toffee, walnut fudge, walnut chocoloony, walnut roscher, walnut coins and honey glazed walnuts under the project funded by National Horticulture Board, Government of India, arousing the prospects for employment generation through entrepreneurial ventures for youth in walnut processing in Kashmir valley.