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FOOD PROCESSING

F1rst’s Delhi conference focuses on processed Indian traditional foods
Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Processed Indian traditional foods (PITF) was the theme of the second edition of the conference hosted by F1rst. It took place in New Delhi recently, with DuPont Nutrition and Health being its platinum sponsor.  

Traditional foods, which are consumed by a vast majority of the Indian population as the centre-of-plate portions alongside their main meal courses, have an enormous potential to be introduced as processed and packaged products.

Experts opined that this will facilitate the growth of the Indian processed food industry to such an extent that it may rival the size of its Chinese or Western counterparts by the year 2022.

The conference featured around 45 participants, both from the food industry and academia, who deliberated on on holistic nutrition in formulations, the synthesis of traditional processing methods, and industrial convenience—in production, understanding global regulations and efforts towards harmonisation and deployment and development of advanced ingredient and packaging solutions.

The proceedings were initiated by Krishnakumar, managing director, Giract, Geneva and Kaushik Shankar, director, F1rst.

They provided an overview of the Indian processed food industry and its background to set the stage for further discussions.

This was followed by a presentation by T S R Murali of Mother Dairy, who focused on the challenges in processing and innovating with traditional dairy products.

Alok Shah from Defence Food Research Labs (DFRL), Mysuru, highlighted the various technologies utilised by them that provided tasty and nutritious foods to Indian army personnel, who worked under varied and  extreme weather conditions.

Devishree from DuPont spoke on the role of ingredients in the industry, and illustrations of the company’s collaboration with food manufacturers to provide solutions to improve the quality/nutrition of food products such as chapati, were well received.

Bhaskarachary, deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, presented his perspective on historical, empirical, and scientific evidence to discuss the nutritional adequacy of processed Indian traditional foods.

He concluded that the modern industries must adopt the advantages of traditional processing methods in an industrial scenario to combat lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

While Sumit Saha from AVI Global Plast elaborated on the role of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) in providing solutions for processed Indian traditional foods, Manika Mittal from Aditya Birla Retail shared her knowledge in implementing quality control measures, and in the establishment of a robust supply chain in the context of traditional Indian foods for retail.

The conference ended with a presentation by Sowmya Tewari from Marico on the regulations prevailing in the processed Indian traditional food market. Her presentation discussed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) standpoint on traditional foods, in comparison to those of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other global regulatory agencies.
 
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