Food Science Universe (FSU)

Peeling of Fruits and Vegetables (English)

Most fruits and vegetables are covered with a protective covering called a peel. This is often contaminated with an extraneous matter or in most cases is inedible. The portion just below the peel is usually rich in nutrients. Hence it becomes essential to peel the fruits and vegetables in such a manner that minimum nutrients are lost. Three methods are commonly employed:

Manual Peeling:
  • Knife
Lye Peeling:
  • Lye Solution (NaOH)
Mechanical Peeling
  • Abrasive Peeler


Manual Peeling:
  • Take the initial weight of the lot (potatoes, carrots) and divide it into two sub-lots.
  • Peel one sub-lot with a sharp cutting knife and the other using a peeling knife.
  • Remove tops and tails from carrots and all blemishes without wasting the “meat”. Remove eyes from potatoes.
  • Wash the peeled product.
  • Calculate the yield (%).
Lye Peeling:
  • Select potatoes and divide them into four equal lots.
  • Weigh each lot.
  • Prepare two solutions of lye (5% and 10%).
  • Bring each solution to boiling temperature.
  • Dip one lot of weighed potatoes in each boiling lye solution.
  • Withdraw one lot after 2 min and the second after 5 min.
  • Upon withdrawal, plunge the product into running tap water and brush off loose skin as quickly as possible.
  • Calculate the yield (%).
  • Test the peeled surface with phenolphthalein for residual alkali. Wash the potatoes until the test is negative
Mechanical (Abrasive) Peeling:
  • Weigh a lot of graded potatoes.
  • Peel in the machine till all skin has been removed. Note the time required.
  • Wash peeled product, weigh and calculate percent yield.


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