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Manufacturing jaggery - A product of sugarcane as health food

Predominantly, the Indian population is rural, as above 65% people lives in rural villages. The majority of the population suffers due to under nutrition and or malnutrition, as the common Indian diet is deficient in nutrition. The health food is considered to be the food which is beneficial to health, beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. It is also referred to as functional food, i.e. food for which a specific claim of health benefits is made, such as that consumption of the food may prevent diseases. Jaggery, a product of sugarcane, is such a product which is rich in important minerals (viz Calcium-40-100 mg, Magnesium-70-90 mg, Potassium-1056 mg, Phosphorus-20-90 mg, Sodium-19-30 mg, Iron-10-13 mg, Manganese-0.2-0.5 mg, Zinc-0.2-0.4 mg, Copper-0.1-0.9 mg, and Chloride-5.3 mg per 100 g of jaggery), and vitamins (viz Vitamin A-3.8 mg, Vitamin B1-0.01 mg, Vitamin B2- 0.06 mg, Vitamin B5-0.01 mg, Vitamin B6-0.01 mg, Vitamin C-7.00 mg, Vitamin D2-6.50 mg, Vitamin E-111.30 mg, Vitamin PP-7.00 mg, and protein-280 mg per 100 g of jaggery). The magnesium strengthens our nervous system, helps to relax our muscles, gives relief from fatigue and takes care of our blood vessels. It also, along with selenium, acts as an antioxidant and has property to scavenge free radicals from our body .The potassium and low amount of sodium present in jaggery maintain the acid balance in the body cells, and also combat acids and acetone, and control our blood pressure. Iron helps to prevent anaemia. It also helps to relieve tension and takes care of asthma, as it has anti allergy properties. Ayurveda also prescribes jaggery for migraine, and at the time of post pregnancy, for removing all clotted blood from the body, within 40 days after the birth of a baby. The preventive ability of jaggery on smoker’s smoke-induced lung lesions suggest the potential of jaggery as a protective food for workers in dusty and smoky atmosphere; even for those who are engaged in woollen industries, the wool dust clogged in the food pipe could be cleared with jaggery. Thus, jaggery helps to breathe easier and counters the pollution problems naturally. The moderate amount of calcium, phosphorous and zinc helps to maintain optimum health. It also purifies the blood, prevents rheumatic afflictions and bile disorders, and thus helps to cure jaundice. The current article briefly describes about the manufacturing process of different forms of jaggery and jaggery based products, which are most appropriate natural health food, for major portion of Indian population living in the rural areas

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