JIS News

The Empowerment of Rural Women Project, operated by the Social Services and Home Economics Department of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), has started commercial production of its prune substitute made from the Jamaican Otaheite apple.
The substitute will not only be used to replace prunes, but can be used instead of raisins and currants in recipes.
Speaking with JIS News, Manager of the Social Services Unit, Lorna Gooden pointed out that the organisation first began the Otaheite apple development in 1990 and in April this year perfected the product.
“We sought to utilise the Otaheite apple, because it is so abundant when it is in season, yet it goes to waste. This is mainly due to its high moisture and water content, therefore it does not last long, even when in season,” she explained.
Although not revealing how the substitute was made, she noted that the company followed stringent standards that have been used for making its Otaheite Pancake Syrup, and this is also in keeping with guidelines of the Jamaica Bureau of Standards.
Mrs. Gooden told JIS News that the substitute was relatively unknown in the baking industry, she encouraged bakeries, wholesalers and persons in the food industry to use the substitute, rather than imported prunes.
“We are looking for it to be widespread in the market by the end of this year, and hopefully it is used to replace some of the imported prunes,” she added.
The Social Services and Home Economics programme is mandated to empower rural women, while the RADA Twickenham Industry in St. Catherine is a project designed by the Government of Jamaica to employ rural women.
Twickenham Industry produces bammies, sorrel products and tamarind meat sauce. The organisation presently employs 25 women in the production of these items.

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