By Thai Newsroom Reporters
SAPODILLA MAY BE eaten as a fresh fruit or get processed into an oven-dried fruit or turned into wine. Farmer Virapon Kopkarnpaisarn has been looking for a business partner who may launch a downstream industry with the sapodilla which he cultivates in Baan Na district of Nakhon Nayok.
The highly sweet, round-shaped, brown-skinned fruit of a Vietnamese genus cannot only be processed and packaged as an oven-dried fruit which can be stored for consumption several months ahead but can be fermented into wine for either domestic consumption or export.
It is never too late for one to open a medium-sized enterprise with the freshly-harvested fruit from Virapon’s orchard of 100-plus sapodilla trees in Baan Phrik subdistrict, said the farmer who came up with such an innovative agro-industrial project.
Each of the Baan Na farmer’s sapodilla trees yields an average of 60 kilogammes of fruit per harvest season and it currently sells for 45 baht a kilo at a major marketplace.
World-famous wines are undoubtedly made from grapes but sapodilla could be fermented as well and be worth sipping as a dry alternative at a far lower price for drinkers in Thailand where the species of grapes suitable for the making of wines are not produced in high volume.
Noted connoisseurs have strongly recommended that sapodilla can be used as ingredient for the making of red wine, albeit in limited quantity, the process for which would be the same as that for the grape-based, tannin-rich wines. Only at a much lower cost of production, that is.
In the meantime, agro-industrial entrepreneur Yutthana Sansamang , a son of a rice farmer in Baan Na district, runs a cottage industry to produce oven-dried sapodilla from Virapon’s supply. The processed fruit is contained in vacuum-sealed packages for sales at niche markets in and around Bangkok.
The young entrepreneur suggested that the fruit be oven-dried in a room rather than sun-dried in the open air, given the consumer’s constant awareness of hygienic quality of such processed goods.
Yutthana admitted he has not had enough money to open a sapodilla wine-making factory with Virapon’s fruit readily available for supply but the yet-unmet innovation has already inspired him to do it whenever future opportunity arises.
Top: Need a glass. Photo: Mohamed Aymen Bettaieb (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: Some delicious sapodilla for sale. Photo: Naewna newspaper