Mysuru: The CFTRI campus was abuzz with a potent mix of curiosity and excitement for the two-day Open Day that concluded last evening. The event was organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru.
Hundreds of people from diverse walks of life – school children, senior citizens, housewives, young professionals and teachers revelled in the opportunity of being able to witness first-hand, CFTRI’s research and development activities.
The Open Day is perhaps the only window of opportunity people get to visit CFTRI premises and understand the inroads that the Institute is making in the domain of food and nutrition.
At the exhibition, the CFTRI staff patiently answered the audiences’ questions as they walked them through the institutions’ latest technologies, food processing units, machineries, experiments and demonstrations. Here is a sneak peek into some of the exhibits.
Slicer cuts lemon into 16 pieces
The Design and Fabrication Unit exhibited machines that were new, exciting and definitely not commonplace. A spouted bed roaster, a briquetting machine, a continuous ragi mudde making machine, an evaporator facility and a super critical liquid extractor were some of the offerings. The potential and prowess of these intricate machines piqued the visitors’ curiosity.
Bharat, a Senior Technical Assistant from the Food Engineering Department, enthralled the audience with a high-powered industrial lemon-slicer. The equipment which is not electricity-dependent could actually cut a lemon into sixteen pieces at one go.
A healthy source of vitamins, minerals
The Departments of Grain Science and Technology and Protein Chemistry Technology presented their audience with useful insights on how they could improve their overall quality of health and life, by improving the nutritional contents of food on their plate.
Dr. Sachin from the Protein Chemistry Technology Department said, “It is our earnest endeavour to help people understand the sources of good quality plant-based protein. People are unaware that protein can have therapeutic value too such as anti-oxidant properties and cancer-fighting abilities. It is when platforms like these educate people on the beneficial value of protein that the public actually go to stores and buy these super-foods,” he said.
Oil extraction machines
When you talk about food and nutrition, you cannot ignore oil. Devika, a senior research fellow had the audience eating out of her hands as she explained state-of-the-art oil extraction processes from seeds. “Our endeavours are aimed at using a combination of technologies and procedures that helps us extract oil from seeds without losing precious sources of protein,” she said.
Not just a vegetarian fare, this one
The Department of Meat and Marine Sciences elaborated on technologies and processes to efficiently use and preserve foods of animal origin and from aquatic environment. Meat lovers happily munched on the free non-vegetarian snacks that the department handed out to them.
On display were long shelf-life egg-based products, mutton chops, ready-to-eat meat-based wafers, nutritional information and value of these products.
An ecosystem of knowledge and awareness
The climate at the Open Day was highly conducive to knowledge sharing, awareness building and information exchange in the areas of food science, food technology and nutrition research. For participants, it was a morning extremely well spent with people seeking and acquiring valuable insights on food and nutrition, a subject so simple yet so essential to the quality of our lives.
Purnima Kaul, a staff at CFTRI said, “It is essential that we have platforms such as these so that people understand technologies, innovation and research that go into creating healthy food. It is through understanding, learning and seeing that they make the right food choices to stay healthy and nourished.”
Nagashree, a housewife, said, “As a homemaker and a mother, it is essential for me to be aware of the latest innovations in the area of food. The knowledge gained from events like these helps me experiment with recipes at home. It also helps me make innovative nutrition-choices that are beneficial to my family.”
So there you have it. It’s just not about food. The CSIR-CFTRI Open Day has far more reaching impacts than that. In a nutshell, it’s about nutrition, it’s about science, it’s about technology and it’s about years of research. The event not only helps the public become more aware of nutritional issues in the long run, but also influences them to make the right food choices and rectify potentially hazardous deficiencies in this area.
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