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FOOD PROCESSING

Teli inaugurates computational modelling & nano-scale processing unit
Monday, 01 July, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Minister of state for food processing industries Ramweswar Teli recently inaugurated a computational modelling and nano-scale processing unit at the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The minister also inaugurated a national conference on emerging techniques in food processing.

He stated that India was at the forefront of food grain production globally and thanked the scientists for their contribution towards the production of sufficient food to feed the population.

The minister added, “We have a market in food that is booming with an expected figure of Rs 61 lakh crore in food retail by 2020. India is the world leader in production of milk, banana, mangoes, spices, shrimp, pulses; and second in cereals, vegetables and tea.”

Teli said, “Post-harvest losses have plagued the supply chain industry, and it is disheartening that every year, substantial produce is lost. Estimated loss in durables is 3-10 per cent, semi-perishables and commodities as milk, fish, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables about 10-20 per cent, and 5-16 per cent in horticultural produce.”

“There arises the need to focus on food processing and preservation, besides food production. In view of the Prime Minister’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojna, it is important to understand how the farmers’ incomes be enhanced through his assets (Sampada),” he added.

The scheme launched with an outset budget of Rs 6,000 crores aim at alleviating the poor state of farmers and help them achieve true value of their produce,” Teli said.

“The food processing industries sums up about 32 per cent of India’s total food market. Food processing is an ever-changing field wherein there are new discoveries almost every day, and the techniques add on to our knowledge repository to better process, preserve and enrich the food products and their intermediaries,” he added.

Talking about the farmers’ welfare, Teli stated that the ministry had been instrumental in ensuring the noble cause of helping farmers and have approved 42 mega food parks.

The ministry also provides financial support in the tune of 35 per cent of the total cost of plant and machinery for encouraging growth.

In addition, the government has entrusted specialised agro-processing financial institutions to finance/refinance the food processing sector, and has launched neoteric initiatives such as Operation Greens, to monitor price fluctuations. The government has also instituted policy initiatives such as the Rs 2,000 crore fund for NABARD.

Teli appreciated the efforts made by IIFPT in R&D (research and development) in the field of food processing. These include formulating highly-nutritious millet ice cream, the onion mission programme, advances in computational modelling and nanotechnology, nutritious products with neera; and the upcoming field of 3D printing.

He added that IIFPT had made remarkable progress in all areas of food process engineering over the last 50 years.

“We wish to witness many more useful technologies being developed by the institute for the nation and mankind in the near future,” the minister said.

He added, “This conference would be a great opportunity for all academicians, scientists, industry personnel and students to share research ideas that would enlighten our path towards better process and products using food processing.”

Dr C Anandharamkrishnan, director, IIFPT, Dr C N Ravishankar, director, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, and other senior officials also participated in the event.
 
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