India failed to provide nutrition security: CFTRI Director

CSIR-CFTRI Director Prof Ram Rajasekharan pointed that though India was successfully providing subsidised food grains to approximately two thirds of its population through food security, the country failed to ensure nutrition security which was more significant.

Speaking at the ‘FreeTech Entrepreneurs Meet’ organised by CSIR-CFTRI on Thursday, Prof Rajasekharan said that nutrition such as iron, zinc and vitamin A were missing from the platters and that no one seemed to care about the nutrition deficiency that was taking a toll on peoples’ health. “Without addressing nutritional status, there can be no adequate development. Food Security Act does nothing for betterment of nutritional status of the people as such,” he said.

“Most of the nutrition from food is lost due to modernisation. The food fails to retain its good part once it is processed. There is a need to address the nutrition deficiency by identifying and adding the missing components in the food,” he told the entrepreneurs and encouraged them to be innovative at manufacturing food.

Citing the transformation of idli and dosa making over the years, Prof Rajasekharan remarked that the fermentation of idli and dosa batter nowadays had lead to decline in fibre in the food. He recommended adopting the way practiced in the past to come out with nutritious food. “It’s not about the number when comes to consumption but the intake of nutrition value,” he said.

Fast food growth rate high

Junk food, Prof Rajasekharan said, was another concern that has been affecting Indians at large. He said that fast food growth in India is never like before and was expected to reach 70 billion dollars in next three years.

Large chunk of young population and changing life styles was the reason for the growth of fast food culture in India while easy availability of fast food was the driving force, attracting thousands of people every day.

Free technology

Prof Rajasekharan said that of all the technologies used in food manufacturing, 90 percent of the technologies were invented at CFTRI. Most of the technologies, made available for free, were being used in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Ready-to-use Idli and Dosa batter technology was most sought after by the entrepreneurs, he said.

 

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