Traditionally, the production of raisins or in other words, dried grapes starts in Tajikistan from August to September. Raisins are used for the production of raisins and these products are in great demand in the markets. Nowadays it is made mainly from seedless grapes “kishmish”. In this case so-called “black raisins” produced from “black sultanas” are most popular and have sweet taste without sourness. Yellow raisins with a brown hue are made from “white sultanas” and have a sour-sweet taste. The market volume of such raisins is much smaller compared with black raisins.
Raisins from stone grapes have gradually disappeared from the diet of consumers over the past few decades. At present, the demand for it is very low, so raisins of this kind are not often sold and practically are not exported.
To produce quality raisins, the content of glucose in grapes, which are the initial raw material, ideally should be 25-30%, but not less than 20%. To do this, the grapes must reach their optimum accumulated temperature during the ripening period of the fruit.
The closer the glucose content is to the ideal value, the higher the yield of the final product. For example, with minimum necessary glucose content in fruit, you get 1 kg of raisins from 5 kg of grapes, while with ideal glucose content, you get 1 kg of raisins from 3 kg of grapes.
The technology of raisins production involves 4 main methods of drying grapes of “sultanas” variety:
- Shadow drying – “soyagi
- Solar drying – “oftobi”
- Sabza with additional sulfitization – “kalifar”
- Sabza without additional sulphitization – “ob-jush”
Both light and dark varieties of grapes are used in shade drying. Usually choose the bunches with the largest and most ripe fruit. Drying is carried out without the use of any gases, powders or solutions, i.e. the grapes are not pre-treated. Grapes are dried in conditions without direct sunlight, with warm and dry winds playing an important role.
Development of logistics and technology for growing and preserving the quality and freshness of fruit, gradually leads to the replacement of dried fruit by fresh fruit in the diet of consumers around the world. Global trade in fresh fruit is growing, while dried fruit is stagnant and tends to decline. Accordingly, the market for raisins is also experiencing bad times. However, quality product, including black semi-dried sultanas in this category will always be in demand.
Opportunities for start-ups
Tajikistan has a number of advantages for semi-dried black sultanas production, including geographic location, good soil, acceptable labor force, traditional farming culture, climatic conditions and a dynamically growing market. Tajik agribusinessmen are able to compete and promote products in the foreign market, using the above-mentioned competitive advantages. Production and marketing of sultanas to domestic and foreign markets has a huge potential for development.
Dear STARTAPERS, if you intend to start a business in the production and sale of black semi-dried sultanas, we suggest you to consult with specialists in the field or contact the project experts through this website. We provide information and advice on the intricacies of sultanas drying technology, as well as information on the potenial buyers – exporters.