“Dr. A.Q.khan Durrani Awarded for Opening New Markets for Pakistan by His Excellency Mr. Peter Hayward ( High Commissioner of Australia in Pakistan ) along with Mr.Basheer Hussain CEO (PHDEC) Ministry of Commerce Government of Pakistan.”
About A.Q Khan Durrani
FRUIT flies were a major impediment for mango producing countries like Pakistan to market the king of the fruits’ to developed countries. Mr. AvQi Khan Durrani, a researcher, is credited with saving and promoting Pakistan’s mango exports at a time when Indian mango exports to the European Union were banned.
Different countries have their own requirements for processing and treatment, but the most commonly used method in vogue is hot water treatment (HWT), radiation and vapor treatment. Around 300 rejected mango consignments led to the imposition of a ban by the EU on the import of Indian mangoes at the start of the mango sea- son on May 30, 2014 for two years.
But Pakistan whose rejected consignments to the EU during 2013 Stood at a lesser 234 — was warned that it will face a ban if five more of its shipments were rejected. At this critical juncture, Mr. Durrani — who has invested 27 invaluable years of his life on research for developing an indigenous HWT technology suited to Pakistani conditions— came to the exporters’ rescue, which helped the country earn $57m from mango exports in 2014.
Talking to this writer at his industry and research Centre located opposite Baqai University on Super Highway, Mr. Durrani said he has designed world’s three largest HWT plant* each with the capacity to process 12 tonnes of man- goes per hour.
Giving details about the technology, he said he had initiated the research work ill 1983, but it took him 27 years to come up with a full solution to the fruit fly issue, in 2010.
According to international quarantine standards for HWT, the recommended temperature is 48 degrees Celsius, and the time for processing is 60 minutes. This results in producing pulp (mango) temperature at 4616 degrees.
However, Mr. Durrani said his research showed that under HWT, the temperature should be kept at 50 degrees, so that pulp’s temperature of 47.5 degree could be achieved. This is necessary to completely destroy or defertile fruit fly eggs.
Supporting his theory of keeping the temperature higher by two degrees over international standards, he said the mango produced in India and Pakistan has a very thin skin and the fruit fly thus easily manages to sting deeper into the ‘fruit to lay eggs.
Yet, a number of issues crop up with the higher temperature, particularly the excessive opening up of mango pores and cells. In order to deal with him.
“A QUALIFIED mechanical engineer and researcher, Mr. A.Q Khan Durrani focused on a single point agenda: that being an agricultural country Pakistan could not progress without giving due importance to the farming sector, this situation, a system has been developed where these pores and cells are semi-sealed by use of wax and shellac during the HWT process.”
Some Interesting Facts About A.Q Khan Durrani
During a tour of these plants, Mr. Durrani drew the writer’s attention toward a unit inside a small room and next to the HWT plant, which releases the wax and shellac, when needed.
After using ethylene process to fast ripen the fruit, another process is used to prolong the mango’s shelf life, he added. For this treatment, another plant developed by him rapidly cools the fruit to reverse the ageing process and also stops dehydration caused by HWT.
He explained that only the first step of HWT is needed for air shipment* whereas the two sub- sequent treatments (of sealing the pores and reversing the ageing and dehydration process) are done for sea shipments due to the time-taking journey.
Surprisingly, the world standard for the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables is not more than 7-8 days, but Pakistan has managed to develop an indigenous technology that has increased it to 35-40 days. Thus, they could still be labelled ‘fresh’ and not frozen, Mr. Durrani claimed.
Meanwhile, radiation is Australia’s quarantine standard for treating mangoes. But when a team of experts carried out successive inspection and audits from 2010 to 2013, they approved HWT for
Durrani added that Australia is also facing similar issues, and even after treating its mango shipments to China in 2012, they were rejected. However, Pakistani consignments were cleared even after it took them 23 days to reach there, By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana against 12 days it took Australia’s shipments.
The approval and certification given by Australia to both Pakistan and India for HWT in 2013 benefited our exports because no Pakistani mango shipments were rejected by Australia, but India had to face a ban as all its three consignments were rejected.
However, when the mango export season started on June 5, Mr. Durrani held video conference with EU officials for 26 days. During the discussions, -the EIJ officials pointed out that they had initially rejected two Pakistani mango consignments, but there were no complaints after that.
Mr. Durrani explained that the initial mango shipments were directly made from approved orchards, but were not processed under HWT. However, all the subsequent shipments were being treated under HWT.
He regretted that even after having a technological edge, Pakistan exported only 4700 tonnes of mangoes to the EU. In fact, Pakistan’s mango export target of 9,000 tonnes per annum should have captured India’s share of around 7,000 tonnes exports to the ELL.
A qualified mechanical engineer Mr. Durrani focused on a single point agenda: that being an agricultural country, Pakistan could not progress without giving due importance to the farming sector.
He also came up with a solution for processing kinnow for the export market, and guided growers and exporters. Around 250 kinnow processing plants are operating on his technology today, and the country is earning around $124-i47m from kinnow exports.