1. Commodity News

Two High Oleic Groundnut Varieties, Girnar 4 & Girnar 5 Developed by ICAR-ICRISAT

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Groundnut is the main oil seed crop in India and it plays a major role in bridging the vegetable oil deficit in the country. Groundnuts in India are available throughout the year due to a two-crop cycle harvested in March and October. Ground Nuts are important protein crops grown mostly under rain-fed conditions.

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid with health benefits including reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It is preferred to normal groundnut oil and products such as confectionaries, flour, cake and butter etc., as studies show that high oleic groundnut oil and products are less prone to oxidation, hence giving extended shelf-life

After eight years of collaborative work, two high oleic groundnut lines have been identified by India’s coordinated release program to go commercial. This means processors and consumers in India will now have access to healthier groundnut-based food products and oil with longer shelf life.

ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, Junagadh in collaboration with the ICRISAT has developed two high oleic groundnut varieties for the first time in India, namely Girnar 4 and Girnar 5. In normal groundnut the oleic acid content varies from 40-50% while these new varieties have nearly 80% of oleic acid.

Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 have been identified by the Varietal Identification Committee for release during the Annual Groundnut Workshop held in Andhra University, Vizag during 25th -27th May 2019.

High oleic groundnuts have high demand in both domestic and international markets for enhanced shelf-life and consumer health benefits. Groundnut oil and groundnut based food products with the high-oleic content   can be used in confectionaries, for making flour, cake and butter with extended shelf-life than that of normal groundnut.

 It is considered health-oil as it can reduce the risk of cardio-vascular diseases, promotes a healthier ratio of high density lipoprotein (HDL) to low density lipoprotein (LDL), and reduces triacylglycerol and blood glucose levels.

Currently food industries in India source high oleic groundnut from countries outside India which increases the cost of raw material and consequently lowers the profit margins to the industries and increases cost of the product to the consumers. Development of Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 groundnut varieties in India will not only put India in elite high oleic groundnut club of the world but altogether open a new era for groundnut stake holders in India.

Girnar 4 and Girnar 5, are identified for cultivation as kharif crop in five major groundnut growing states, namely Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. These varieties have been developed through marker assisted breeding under a collaborative project funded by NMOOP of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer Development (DoAC&FD) of Government of India, involving the ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, ICRISAT and SAUs. This high oleic acid containing groundnut will certainly boost Indian groundnut export scenario as well as meet the growing demand of food industries.

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