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Blanching in Cauliflower


Blanching in cauliflower plants

The early sowing of cauliflower varieties (early in the season) at high temperature generally have the tendency to keep their leaves open. These plants do not cover the curds during its formation. Many varieties do not cover the curds after its formation. Due to this the curds become yellowish in colour because of long exposure to excessive sunlight. It is very common in the month of August and September.

TopicVegetable blanching
CategoryOlericulture

Also read: Pot vegetable farming

What is blanching?

Blanching is a method of protecting curds of cauliflower from the direct sunlight. In blanching, curds are manually covered with plant’s leaves to protect it from sunlight.

Blanching of curds

To overcome this problem, protect the curds from direct sun exposure that tends to discolour the white curd to creamy white, reducing its market quality.

For keeping them white, protect the curds of early maturing cauliflower varieties from sun injury either by drawing outer long leaves and tying loosely with a rubber strap or placing a cauliflower leaf over curd.

Care: Do not practice this operation for more than 4 days otherwise the curds may start decaying, especially when the temperature and humidity are high.

What are the major losses in curds due to high temperature and direct sunlight?

There are two major losses in curds due to high temperature and direct sunlight?

  • Loss in flavor
  • Loss in attractiveness
  • These curds are bitter in taste. The cause of bitterness is due to synthesis of too much glucosinolate.
  • Curds are poor in other quality characters
  • These types of curds are not preferred by customers in the market.

Self-blanching varieties of cauliflower

  • Pusa Snowball K-1
  • Pusa Deepali
  • Pusa Himjyoti
  • Pusa Snowball-1
  • Late Dania
  • Summer King
  • Snowball-16

Also read: Vegetable crops physiological disorder MCQ

What is self-blanching

Some early maturing varieties and most of late maturing cultivars, i.e., snowball-16, Pusa Snowball-1, Pusa Snowball-2, Pusa Snowball K-1, etc., do not require blanching operation since the plants of these varieties usually have an abundance of foliage and are self blanched due to incurving habit of innermost leaves. It is self-blanching.

Pusa snowball K-1

  • It is a late season variety.
  • This variety possess moderate field resistance against black rot.
  • Characteristic: 01. Upright hi-domed. 02. Light green leaves covering the curds. 03. Produces best quality curds. 04. Matures late.

Pusa Deepali

  • Origin: IARI, New Delhi
  • Characteristics: 01. Uniform, medium long and erect foliage with round tips. 02. Produces white compact medium size curds free from riceyness. 03. Plants are tall, erect with bluish green waxy leaves.
  • It can accommodate more number of plants per unit area because of its erect growth habit.
  • Curds become ready for harvest by middle of October.
  • This variety of cauliflower is popular among the farmers of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand.
  • It yields 150-200 quintals per ha.

Pusa Himjyoti

  • Origin: IARI Vegetable Research Station, Katrain, Himachal Pradesh.
  • It is suitable for spring-summer cultivation in hills above 1000 MSL.
  • This is the only variety, which can be grown from April-July in the hills.
  • Characteristics: 01: Leaves are erect and bluish green in colour with a waxy coating. 02. It produces pure curds weighing 500-600 g. 03. Curds retain their colour even after exposure to sun.
  • The curds become ready for harvest in the month of December in north Indian plains.
  • Yield: Its average curd yield is 220 quintal per ha.

Pusa Snowball-1

  • It is a late variety
  • Origin: IARI Vegetable Research Station, Katrain, Himachal Pradesh.
  • It is a selection from an inter varietal cross EC-12012 × EC-12013.
  • Characteristics: 01. Produces medium size snow-white compact curds. 02. Leaves are straight uptight. 03. Tightly covers the curds. 04. It takes 120 days from sowing to curd maturity and gives about 25% higher yield than Snowball-16.
  • This variety is suitable for cultivation in cool season.
  • Curds become ready for harvest in January to February in north plains of India and during March to April in the hills.
  • Yield: Its average yield is 150-200 quintals per ha.

Late Dania

  • It is a late season variety.
  • Origin: IARI Vegetable Research Station, Katrain, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Characteristics: 01. It is sensitive to fluctuating environment but performs successfully in eastern region more particularly in eastern hilly regions. 02. It plants are very sturdy having waxy self-blanching leaves. 03. Curds are medium deep.
  • Yield: It is 200-250 quintals per ha.

Summer King

  • Origin: Sungro Seeds Limited, New Delhi.
  • It is a hybrid.
  • As name suggests, this variety is suitable for cultivation in summer season.
  • It is popular among the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
  • Characteristics: Curds are creamy white, dome shaped, compact with weight of 400-600 g. It matures in about 55 days after transplanting.

Snowball-16

  • It is a late season variety.
  • Origin: Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
  • Characteristics: Produces medium size snow-white compact curds. Its curds become ready for harvest in 100-110 days.
  • Yield: Its average yield is 150 quintals per ha.

Also read: Water Activity in Fruits and Vegetables

Explanations

Glocosinolate: It is an alkaloid

Frequently asked question

In which region is this a common problem?

This is a common problem in northern plains of India.

Is there any machine for this operation?

A machine has been developed for tying the cauliflower leaves over the curds to prevent the development of brown colour of curds, and using this machine 93% of plants are correctly tied individually (Lanker and Nascimento, 1980).


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