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F1rst at PITF 2023 looks at strategies to promote processed Indian traditional foods industry
Thursday, 19 October, 2023, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
F1rst at its fourth annual Processed Indian Traditional Foods conference: PITF 2023 focused on approaches to increase the demand for these value-added products. Furthermore, it also viewed the scientific aspects, required infrastructure, educational efforts, and the availability of skilled personnel for the development of the sector.

At the daylong event of the Processed Indian Traditional Foods conference, in Bengaluru, it explored innovative ways to create new processed Indian food products, adapt traditional recipes to modern tastes, and cater to changing consumer preferences.

The primary objective of the conference was to evolve various strategies to boost the demand for processed Indian traditional  foods. This covered a gamut of areas like product innovation, consumer education and marketing strategies.

At the inauguration, Karnataka Food Safety Commissioner Nagaraja NM, Dr. V Krishnakumar, managing director, GIRACT- Geneva, Badrinath Raghavendran, co-founder, F1rst India, and Kamlesh Pathak, VP, sales & business, were present.

Noting traditional foods as the next value addition, Badrinath Raghavendran, co-founder, F1rst India, said, understanding the scientific aspects of food processing is crucial for maintaining the quality and safety of processed Indian foods. This could involve discussions on food preservation techniques, quality control, and food safety measures. The theme of the event Business opportunities and challenges of integrating millets in Processed Indian Traditional Foods is expected to provide a peek into this.

Speaking on the occasion, Nagaraja said that the need of the hour in millet processing is the facilitation of processed food as a viable commercially acceptable product.

Stating that millets have been part of the ancient food systems, Nagaraja said, “Its  cultivation is known for its drought-resistant qualities and the ability to thrive with less rainfall compared to many other cereal crops. Varieties like ragi, pearl millet, jowar have been a part of staple food in the state. These are known for their dietary fibre and  gluten-free properties making it a healthy food. Hence there is a need to develop good  and safe food going forward.

Delving on the topic, Processed Indian Traditional Foods - Take-off time?, Dr Krishnakumar said that even as the government initiatives to promote millets are a positive development, yet it is equally important for the Indian food processing industry to closely consider and actively participate in the promotion and development of millets.

The lineup of speakers saw Dr OP Chauhan, scientist ‘F’ Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysuru, address on Processing and packaging technologies for Indian traditional foods. Lokendra Singh, managing director, Ross Process Solutions, spoke on Mixing solutions for millet processing. Suchitra Tripathy, head of technical services, Novozymes, spoke on the Potential of biotechnology in making traditional food safe, healthy and delightful naturally.  Dr Chindi Vasudevappa, ex chancellor, NIFTEM, Delhi, addressed on the recent innovations in the millet chain. Om Prakash, director, R&D India and Middle East, Griffith Labs, spoke on Transforming Millets in traditional foods. Also present was Dr Sujeeth Ranjan, associate director, Tata Trust.

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