The Food Processing Chronicon
May 28, 2018 | Tanya Gupta
Established in July 2013, the Department of Food Process Engineering is one of the newfangled departments of the institute. The faculty members include Profs. Sabyasachi Mishra, Ram Chandra Pradhan, Parag Prakash Sutar, Preetam Sarkar, Sushil Singh, and Madhuresh Dwivedi with Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra as the Head of the Department. India happens to be the second largest food producer and has the second highest population in the world. Agricultural land is going down whereas food requirement has gone up. Therefore, food processing is the only option to increase the food availability and feed the ever-increasing population of our country. Considering industry demand, scope and future prospect in the food sector, the institute started this department offering B. Tech., M. Tech. and Ph. D. programs in Food Process Engineering.
In the B. Tech. (Food Process Engineering) program, the students learn the engineering aspect of food processing i.e. Equipment and plant design, Process design and development, Food product design and development, Food packaging and storage, Food safety and quality control.
Apart from the other general engineering courses common to all branches in the first year, a student of B. Tech. (Food Process Engineering) has branch related courses from second year onwards. Some important areas covered during the four-year program are:
Food processing equipment and plant design, Food Grain Processing, Horticultural Crop Processing, Dairy and Livestock Processing, Bakery and Confectionary, Brewery and Beverage Technology, Spices, Condiments, and Oil Seeds Processing, Food Laws and Regulations, Food Business Operation and Management, Food Packaging and Storage, and Food Safety and Quality Control.
Other than teaching, the department is also involved in research and has twelve Ph.D. students. The department has seven externally funded research projects in various fields of food processing.
Campus placement is an important criterion that a prospective student looks for while deciding the institute and branch. For 2018 batch of this branch, the total student strength was 22. There were 20 job offers. Some of the core companies visiting the campus for placement are Milk Mantra, IDMC, Tetra Pak, Coca-cola, Pepsi, ITC, Cargill etc. The list is growing. Some of the non-core companies in software and analytics hiring students from this branch are ZS Associates, TCS, Wipro, Affine Analytics, etc. Other than campus placements, students have also got into MBA programs in IIMs, XIMB, NIBM (Pune), BITS Pilani etc. and direct Ph.D. in foreign universities.
Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra, Head of the Department says:
“Food processing is the need of the hour. The food sector is growing in a big way in India and needs trained/skilled manpower. Considering that food security is a necessity, one cannot deny the growing necessity and popularity of food process engineering as a discipline of study, especially when it is offered in an Institute of repute like NIT Rourkela. Many other NITs and IITs have also started working towards opening this branch of engineering. The department here at NITR would definitely bridge the huge gap between available and required skills in the food sector. I see a bright future for this branch.”