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“No sweat if sample picked up for test,” says Wazir at Food Summit ’17
Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
“When the food safety officer (FSO) picks up a sample of your product for testing and ensuring compliance, you shouldn’t be the one sweating.” This line summed up the presentation titled Engaging your team to align their practices with your Food Safety Standards, by Ravi Wazir, founder and chief executive officer, Phoenix Consulting (a hospitality business consulting firm), at Food Summit 2017.

The three objectives of the event - which was conceptualised and powered by Equinox Labs and concluded at the J W Marriott in Juhu, Mumbai, recently - were to bridge the gap between the different sectors of the food industry, streamline the process and create better awareness and management flow of the market.

The attendees at the event, called an educational affair on food, also included those in the manufacturing and processing sectors and distribution channels.

Food safety officers (FSOs) were at hand to empower and guide the stakeholders.

Sponsors & partners
Insta Green Tea, Yoga Pulp, Sweet Smith, MixTale Beverages, Seedy Smoothies, Ambriona Cacao Blends, Aqua Twist, Organic Farmer’s Co, Icelings and Oh! Fudge were the goodie sponsors of the event.

Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India) [AFST(I)] was the knowledge partner, while Drinkpreneur, HospiBuzz, FnB News, FnB Buzz, Urban Lifestyles, Food and Beverages Processing Magazine and Food Marketing and Technology India were the media partners.

iFy, an event by UBM, supported Food Summit 2017.

Session I
The event kicked off with a session where the attendees had to introduce themselves and their companies to the others present. It was at this session that there were instant business developments, as anticipated.

After the ice-breaker, Ashwin Bhadri, chief executive officer, Equinox Labs, started the conference by highlighting the aspects needed to scale food businesses.

It was the key, given that the effort needed to grow a business is ten times more than that needed to start one.

This was followed by the aforesaid presentation by Wazir, who has authored a book titled Restaurant Start-up: A Practical Guide.

After the session, the audience asked him a number of questions about processing, why safety was necessary and how one could juggle between compliance and business.

The next presentation was by Meghna Kamdar, Internet sensation of Meghna’s Food Magic fame. Her passion lies in preparing budget-friendly recipes. Her cooking videos, especially those featuring her baking sessions, are popular

She shared her insights on these, besides talking about her journey and the hardships she faced as a chef as well as a star in the industry.

The Innovative Food Business of the Year Award was the highlight of the event. While there were already five nominations for the award, another joined on the day of the event. This event was divided into two slots - pre- and post-lunch.

There were presentations by Mexer Beverages, Insta Green Tea and Icelings during the first leg.

Mexer Beverages’ concept made it possible to enjoy the flavours of a mocktail without having to visit the bar.

Insta Green Tea showcased their innovative packaging and preparation of green tea; all one has to do is add hot water and sip.

Icelings had a twist - while the water used was extremely pure, the packaging was a unique concept in the ice industry.

While a jury - comprising Bhadri, Wazir, Kamdar and Tushar Malkani, executive chef, Supreme Hospitality, and hospitality manager, Khar Gymkhana - was appointed to pick the winner, the audience had a role to play in the process as well.  

At the end of the first slot of the Innovative Food Business of the Year Award, there was a networking session, which was combined with the tea break.

It enabled those who were looking forward to make associations with each other for the growth of their businesses to have fruitful conversations.

People stepped forward to make their acquaintances known, and a number of business developments were seen to be taking place.

Session II
The post-tea leg of kicked off with a presentation, titled Scientific Perception of Food Safety in the Processing Industry [the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and its developments], by Subhaprada Nishtala, joint secretary, Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India) [AFST(I)], Mumbai Chapter.

Thanks to her knowledge of the country’s apex food regulator, its regulations and recent developments and the positive effect it will have on food businesses, the doubts in the minds of food business operators (FBOs) got cleared.

Nishtala’s session was followed by a panel discussion, titled Food Processing, Food Safety and FSSAI.

The following were the key pointers of this discussion:
FSSAI’s policies in recent times, and how they have made a difference to the food industry
The growth of the food processing businesses in terms of safety during the last ten years
Importance of water safety for corporates
Conducting audits and hygiene maintenance in the food businesses’ premises and corporates
Bhadri, the moderator of the discussion, was joined on the panel by Nishtala; Malkani, Shalaka Sawarikar, deputy manager, administration, events and expat housing, BP Group of Companies, and Karan Rathod, chef consultant, Ushvina Foods.

They put forth a number of points, considering all the sub-points mentioned above. And together, they paved the way for a food-safe flow, which is necessary for a compliant and high-standard industry.

Following the discussion, the people gathered for lunch. During the interval, the Food Summit team sought the guests’ opinions on the event.

There was another round of networking for guests to come together, collaborate on projects and spread the wings of their businesses.

Post-lunch, Malkani delivered a presentation, titled Food Technology and its uses in the Future. He touched upon such trends as edible coal ice-cream and molecular gastronomy. He brought to light a host of ideas that the food industry ought to inculcate, as they are both healthy and innovative.

The next in line was the second slot of the Innovative Food Business of the Year Award. In this leg, Mandalas Impresa presented exotic chocolates, Seedy presented smoothies and Future Farms presented the technology for agro-business.

The demonstrations by each of these concluded with the jury and the audience taking a call on the winner.

Meanwhile, Ajay Sati, health director, BP Group of Companies, spoke on food contamination in cafeterias, highlighting the importance of food safety from procurement to plate.

The session focussed on the catering sectors in particular. They form a crucial part of the restaurant and foodservice industries. His presentation was particularly useful for people associated with the food corporate business and multinational corporations (MNCs).

The final presentation, by Bhadri, was titled 13 Ways to protect Yourself from Consumers. This was not just focused on food safety and compliance, but was also generic, bringing together all the factors which make (or break) a food business.

This was followed by the second panel discussion, which centred around streamlining the ancillary food sectors for safe logistics and distribution.

Moderated by Nilesh Lele, honorary secretary, AFST(I), Mumbai Chapter, the panel comprised Rathod, Altamsh Patel, sous chef, TajSATS, and Yagnesh Shah, partner, Harihar Oils.

The key points discussed here were as follows:
Logistics, storage and wastage
Distribution channels and e-commerce
The loopholes that exist in the line of packaging, labelling, distribution and how to avoid non-compliance
Maintenance, distribution and safety of packaged food products at an altitude
This was followed by a presentation ceremony.

Malkani was presented a plaque of gratitude for his contribution to the field of gastronomy.
He later presented a memento of gratitude to Ashwin Bhadri, who, in turn, presented tokens of appreciation to all the speakers, panel members and eminent personalities.

On behalf of the food industry, the Food Summit team felicitated Satish Arora, mentor of chef Sanjeev Kapoor of Khana Khazana fame with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event concluded with a high tea.
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