Friday, December 16, 2011: 11:28:03 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Need for R&D, investment in food processing

Survey respondents unanimously think that there is a need to increase the R&D in the food processing sector

The food processing sector in India has been under the government’s radar over the last few years mainly because of the immense possibilities and potential in the sector. Some believe that the sector could hold the key to the solving the food crisis in the country. The need for R&D in the sector is therefore quite high and a recent survey by FoodProcessing360 saw voters unanimously agreeing that there is a need for more R&D in the sector to increase productivity and enhance quality.

Recently Charan Das Mahant, the minister of State for Food Processing Industries said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that the food processing ministry had recently taken several steps to enhance the R&D in the sector. The Ministry has approved 35 grant-in aids for R&D organisations that developed technologies for the food processing sector. Some of the organisations and the technologies developed include:
  • Indian Institute of Packaging- Jeera Puris and banana chips packaging
  • Delhi University- Enzyme mediated food processing
  • IIT Kharagpur- Microwave assisted hot air and vacuum drying of fruits of and spices
The Ministry has also undertaken several steps to enhance awareness about food processing across the country.
Drawbacks remain
In spite of the steps by the government, certain drawbacks continue to haunt the food processing and technology sector in India. Mumbai based food expert Mohana Mukherjee says, “Food storage and food packaging are the areas that need maximum attention as food wastage is a major issue in India.”
While the call for more investment in R&D in food processing is loud and clear, it is also important for the authorities to take adequate steps to improve the profitability in the supply chain. If research or investment brings benefit to the farmer as well as the consumer, it is bound to be a boon for the entire industry.

Tias Chakraborty

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