ITANAGAR, Sept 19 � The question why wild banana was a favourite of elephants made Pankaj Awasthi here in Arunachal Pradesh to experiment with the fruit in making wine from it.
The sugar content of bananas make it the best ingredient for making wine, says Pankaj, who has a two-year degree in alcohol technology from the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur.
Pankaj says he was delighted with the taste of banana wine, which he is aiming to patent, after he first brewed it seven years ago.
Pankaj�s product �Ritus Home Makers� Banana Wine� bagged the first slot during Goa Wine Festival in 2003 and the Delhi Wine Festival in 2004 organised by the Wine Association of India.
It was also adjudged the best for three consecutive years from 2005 at the Shillong Wine Festival. �Though kiwi, apple, pineapple and orange wines are good, the banana variety is highly appreciated,� says Pankaj.
�It usually takes 45 days to ferment and prepare the product,� he says, claiming that it has high demand in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Goa and the North East.
So far the couple has prepared around 500 litres of banana wine on demand from various individuals and companies with the price ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 15,000 per bottle depending on the quality and period of preparation.
�A bottle of wine prepared by fermenting for 15 days costs less. Prices also vary with the seasons which impacts the availability of the raw materials,� Pankaj says.
He claims that the wine will last 10 years if preserved properly. At present Pankaj and his wife are concentrating on research on India made foreign liquor (IMFL).
�I am offering consultancy services to distilleries across the country and prepared many IMFL brands for them,� he claims.
On his future plans, he says he is planning to research wines produced by various tribes in Arunachal. � PTI
Some of his products recorded the highest sales in many distilleries in the East including Sona distillery in Chattisgarh and Superior distillery, UP, he claims.
He charges one time fee of Rs 1 lakh per product from the distilleries, he says.
�I am aiming at patenting my banana product and go for its commercialisation,� he adds. � PTI