Physiology Biochemistry and Post Harvest Technology
Head : Dr. Murali Gopal
01. Plant Physiology & Biochemistry
02. Pre and Post Harvest Technology
The Division pursues the investigations on the physiological, biochemical, and molecular basis of coconut, arecanut and cocoa to growth and yield under normal and abiotic stress (drought, salinity and elevated temperature, elevated CO2) conditions. To phenotype the crops for various abiotic stresses and to perform the impact assessment leading to the devising of effective adaptation strategies to counter climate change. To perform fundamental and applied biochemical and nutritional research pertaining to the various developmental stages of palms and cocoa and products obtained thereof. To pursue research in enhancing the shelf life of produce, process optimization and commercialization of value added products and mechanization of farm operations. The research outcomes have potential applications in the field of crop management, nutritional biochemistry, value addition and farm mechanization of palms and cocoa.
Major Research Activities:
Physiological and biochemical investigations of yield and quality in palms and cocoa.
- Response to climate change variables, and phenotyping for high temperature and water-deficit, and salinity tolerance. Development and validation of simulation models.
- Development of management strategies to mitigate the effect of climate change on plantation crops.
- Isolation and characterization of biochemical compounds of palms and cocoa with anti- oxidant and nutraceutical potential
- Application of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches to decipher water-deficit and salinity stress tolerance.
Value chain management, product diversification and up scaling technology for commercial dimensions.
- Development of novel value added products such as coconut milk powder using foam mat drying, ready to cook kheer mix, coconut frozen-delicacy, ready-to-eat extruded snacks from the co-products of coconut processing and commercialization of value added products.
- Studies on flavour components, quality of cocoa, cardio-protective, anti-diabetic effects of coconut and products.
- Biochemical studies to improve the shelf life of value added products.
Developing labour saving and drudgery reducing farm machineries.
- Development of machineries and preservation protocol for minimal processing of tender coconut.
- Development and field demonstration of an air blast sprayer for coconut/arecanut.
- Development of continuous type coconut testa removing machine.
- Development of process technology for minimal processing of mature coconut kernel and its value added products.
- Commercialization of processing equipments.