Book Talk: Light on consuming safe food
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Book Talk: Light on consuming safe food

October 14, 2019

A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.  This outlook to books, attributed to the renowned English Poet John Milton (1608-1674), applies in good measure to the book authored by Dr. Renu Agrawal, titled “Making Foods Safe and Free from Pathogens.” The central message that the author seems to convey conforms to the time-honoured proverb Look before you leap, an advisory to be clear about what is ahead before making a decision and acting. Given the frequently happening incidents of people taking ill after consuming food not checked for its fitness to be served, many times claiming life of school-bound children, the author deserves to be thanked, more than complimented, for bringing light on food in the form of a well-researched book.

Our ancestors are known to have strictly followed the practice of consuming dishes prepared by cooking in fresh state, maybe because of unavailability of technologies of preserving food from getting spoiled, except by sun-drying and pickling. The issue of making food safe for consumption has acquired enlarged dimension due to many factors, particularly growth of food processing industry with its high proportion of share in the nation’s economy, not to forget packaging the products for extended periods of storage before they appear in the marketing channels.

The author has presented information focussing on microbes lurking in foods generating toxic components which is their dharma. She has divided the narrative in lucid language into 15 chapters within easy grasp of readers. For the benefit of those who are keen on seeking the source of literature that the author has based her work on, nearly 900 references are cited on 50 pages of the publication. The headings of chapters are self-explanatory, but an index that would facilitate speedy location of specific information is woefully missing. May be, that gap can be filled in later editions.

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Including graphics, in multi-colour images of foods, both safe and unsafe, would have greatly made the publication more attractive, if not helpful in getting the information across. The author has done her bit in throwing light on food as it should be conferred vigil before consumption, but for outreach of information to reach the last beneficiary, the publication has to be brought out in all languages of the land, as a grateful tribute to farming fraternity who toil in the fields, rain or shine and the food processors. — BRS

Caption: Dr. Gurmeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University, seen releasing the  book “Making Foods Safe & Free From Pathogens” authored by Dr. Renu Agrawal, Ex-Chief Scientist and Rural Programme Coordinator, CFTRI, Mysuru, at the inaugural function of the 11th National Academy of Biological Sciences in Pondicherry recently as Dr. K.P. Viswanatha (extreme left), Vice-Chancellor of MPKV, Rahuri and Dr. Duraisamy, Vice-Chancellor of Madras University look on.

Title: Making Foods Safe & Free

 From Pathogens

Author: Dr. Renu Agrawal

Pages:   262

Price:     Rs. 2,700

Publisher: New India Publishing , Agency, New Delhi

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