New Delhi :Indian food industry is poised for growth increasing its contribution in world food trade every year. The food industry requires expert guidance and innovative technologies for its growth and survival. There is considerable scope to upgrade food processing technologies using biotechnological approaches, so that not only wastage is reduced to the minimum, but also value addition to novel products made in India is maximized, thus making them competitive in world market.
In India, food has become a high-profit industry by reason of the scope it offers for value addition, particularly with the food processing industry getting recognized here as a high-priority area in the liberalized era. Ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth, the food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India. While the industry is large in size, it is still at a nascent stage in terms of development. In order to remain internationally competitive in food trade and to provide quality nutritive food for India, application of science and technology in food processing is the most urgent need of our country. Further, In order to achieve the expected returns on investment through good quality and right value addition, application of high technology has become imperative, leading to an unprecedented demand for scientists, technologists and other professionals who can manage the emerging challenges of the food processing industry effectively.
Food science is the discipline in which biology, physical sciences, and engineering are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of their deterioration, and the principles underlying food processing. Food Technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food. Food technology involves the integrated application of several disciplines (chemistry, animal and plant biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, nutrition, physiology, microbiology, and engineering) to the processing and manufacturing of foods.
In view of above, and taking into account that modern food processing requires biotechnological interventions, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has taken the initiative to fill this gap by enhancing Research Capacity in the area of Food Biotechnology and initiating Integrated M.Sc./ M.Tech &PhD programme in the area of Food Science & Technology in select institutions having inherent capacity from the academic year 2008-09 onwards. This was revealed by Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal at a press conference in New Delhi today.
Details of the Programme:
The specific goal would be to enhance the capacity of the four institutions spread across the country with well-developed academic and research programmes through DBT’s support so as to: (i) produce adequate human resource in this area; (ii) expand scientist density and develop faculty research capability; (iii) enhance research infrastructure and (iv) pursue practical but ambitious research goals through short and long term program based funding in the area of Food Biotechnology.