1Masette M*, 2Candia A and 3Aluoch Grace Ocheng
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L) is a multi-purpose tree that grows wildly in Uganda. Virtually every part of the tree is utilised in food preparations or medicines. However its economic potential in Uganda has not been fully established. A three year study from 2010 to 2013 was conducted to establish the commercial potential based on product development from its fruit in relation to market response and opportunities. Four products namely jam, marmalade, source and tam-chilli were developed from sweet and sour provenances of the fruit and organoleptically tasted by controlled taste panel. To test product acceptability and commercial viability, 437 potential consumers from two regions; North-Eastern (traditional tamarind area) and Western (non-traditional tamarind region) Uganda were engaged in the exercise. Results indicated that most consumers (76%) preferred sour provenances for culinary purposes as food enhancers. Among the new products, jam and marmalade were most preferred (87%) followed by sauce and tam-chilli at 34% and 23% respectively. Preference for jam and marmalade was reflected in the average willing price of UGX 5,760/= and 3,900/= for 250g-jars respectively. Generally, consumers in the Western region offered higher prices than their counterparts in North and Eastern region. The male buyers consistently offered 15% higher prices than their female counterparts. It was therefore concluded that tamarind fruit can be transformed into commercially value-added products and can be a source of income for farmers and processors in Uganda.
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