Arunachal needs a Food science and Technology department

Dear Editor,
Through your esteemed daily, I would like to thank Ministry of Food Processing Industries, (MoFPI) Govt. of India and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for conducting a successful
Conclave on 16th March at the Banquet Hall, Itanagar. The theme of the conclave was Imagine, Innovate and Inspired. Dignitaries from the center and state government, senior government representatives, industry leaders and experts were present on that day to interact with the entrepreneurs interested in Agro and Food Processing Units in Arunachal Pradesh.
In the State Budget 2018-19 published on 13th March 2018 by your daily, one of the highlights was the Industry and Investment establishment of Mega Food Park in Banderdewa by
the Govt. of India (Rs 30 crores for external infrastructure) which is one step to success in the field of Food sector. Mega Food park concept is very interesting and it aims at establishing a direct linkage from farm to processing and then to the consumer markets.
Various evolution of food system have been reported worldwide, and we have the Food Scientist’ and Technologist’ to thank for. Every day we come across food products like: canned Food, snack, fast food (chips, fries, pizza, burger, pasta etc.), ready-to-eat meals, ready to cook (extruded food), bottled milk, baby food, low fat butter, chocolate, wafers, yogurt, coffee, cereals bars, packaged fruit Juice, smoothie, aerated drinks and energy drinks, beer, wine etc.
Now the responsibility for making safe and nutritious food along with innovative packaging in abundance lies with the food technologist or the scientists. The chemistry and biochemistry of food components, principles of food processing and preservation to improve the food quality can be delivered excellently by an academic body to the young minds or the future Food Technologist’.
Our neighboring state Assam offers various courses like B. Tech, M. Tech and Ph.D. in the department of Food Engineering and Technology, Tezpur University (TU). They also adopt nearby villages to transfer low cost technology in food processing sector. In Tura, Meghalaya, College of Home science under Central Agriculture University (CAU), Manipur offers four (4) year professional courses on Food science and Nutrition. CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore is a research focused institute. Academic andthe programs offered by the institute are M.Sc. Food Technology, Integrated M.Sc.-Ph.D. Programs in Nutrition Biology etc.
National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Haryana is the brainchild of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Govt. of India and also offers various courses like B. Tech, M. Tech, Ph.D. etc.
Pondicherry University also offers the same courses under the Department of Food Science and
Technology and many more are there.
Moving homewards it is disheartening to find out that our state of Arunachal Pradesh lacks those academic initiatives in the field of Food Science/Food Technology. There is no doubt about the abundance of food produce and the steps taken to commercialize them, for instance; successfully setting up of a winery in Ziro, beverages and bottled water packaging plant in Bhalukpong, the export of Dambuk oranges to the international market etc. Now the problem of maintaining food quality and health standards is yet to be determined and solved.
Therefore through this forum, I would like to appeal to the concerned authorities that it’s high time that our state should also prioritize on establishment of a Food science and Technology department/center/ institute in the state.
Dr. Duyi Samyor
Visiting Research Associate,
Queen’s University,