Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Bauchi women devise local method of processing, preserving tomato past


Women in Bauchi have devised a way of processing and preserving tomato paste locally for sale or consumption at home in times of scarcity.
Checks by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveal that whereas those who sell the paste make appreciable profit, those who preserve same for domestic consumption save a lot of money.
According to some of the housewives interviewed by NAN in Bauchi, the process of preparation is simple and keeps the taste and freshness of the paste for as long as three months or even beyond.
They said those interested had the option of preparing either tomato paste alone or “tomapep” paste, a combination of fresh tomatoes mixed with pepper and onion.
Adama Balteh, who explained the process, said the first step was to buy a large quantity of fresh tomatoes, grind same and boil to remove liquid from it completely.
“As you boil the grinded tomatoes to remove liquid, you also wash and boil the containers to be used in preserving the paste; the containers must be durable and airtight.
“Most of us use salad cream bottles (Bama), which are thoroughly washed and boiled (covers removed) for five minutes.
“Bottles that cannot withstand the pressure will crack and will therefore, be eliminated, leaving only those qualitative enough for the preservation of the paste.
“The hot tomatoes completely drained of its liquid, is then poured into the equally hot bottles, added a pinch of salt and small quantity of oil, and then closed airtight to prevent the infiltration of micro-organisms.
“These bottles containing the paste are again boiled in hot water for five to 10 minutes, after which they are removed and kept in safe place for sale in future to make reasonable profit, or used at home to cut cost in times of scarcity,” she said.

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