On Thursday, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) dedicated its theme day to its contribution in the field of ‘Food & Nutrition’ at CSIR Platinum Jubilee Technofest at 36th India International Trade Fair (IITF), Pragati Maidan. Touching upon important aspects of food and nutrition in the seminar, the scientists and researchers from the CSIR labs expressed concerns over malnutrition, especially in the children and pregnant women. Diabetes is another evil which CSIR is determined to fight as the experts spoke on preventive steps. The industrial partners of CSIR also attended the seminar.
Prof. Ram Rajsekharan, Director, CSIR-CFTRI addressed the seminar.
“Malnutrition doesn’t only mean the deficit of nutrition level, it also occurs due to over-nutrition. CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has developed micro-supplements for malnourished children that will help a child in the cognitive learning process. Our lab has played pivotal role in wiping out malnourishment from the country. When a pregnant woman is malnourished, the risk of child suffering the same is high.” said Dr. Sridevi. R. Singh, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-CFTRI.
CSIR-CFTRI has produced carbonated sugarcane nutritious juice rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and other minerals. ‘Neera’ a special unfermented beverage of Coconut Palm Sap has also been developed by CSIR-CFTRI, ready for commercial launch. Apart from the healthy nutritious drinks, CSIR-CFTRI has also produced instant snacks, ‘Chia’, for children and adults, Kokum Jelly Candy and multi-grain Banana Bar. India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables globally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested in September this year that fruit juice be incorporated in small quantities in carbonated beverages in our nation.
“Nutriice” the omega-3 fats enriched ice cream, is the another product from the CSIR-CFTRI which has also been a global first. The lab has produced diacylglycerol (DAG) oil, a “Slim Oil”, can be used for normal cooking and frying. Our body uses this oil as energy but the excess energy from the oil does not store as fat in our system. This product is presently undergoing human trials and will be launched thereafter.
The panelists in the seminar emphasized on the need to carry out fortification with staple foods to overcome malnutrition, robust agriculture extension, and infrastructure enhancement in the supply chain.
The day concluded with signing of 6 MoUs with the industrial partners of CSIR.
CSIR-CFTRI and CSIR-IGIB organized science-based activities, science quiz and public science talk on ‘Food for Nature’.