Convening Sustainability- National Conference on Advances in Food Processing For Sustainable Food Security (AFP-2019)
Tanaya Sahoo | Jun 10, 2019
The Department of Food Processing, NIT Rourkela organised a national conference on advances in Food Processing for Sustainable Food Security on May 17-18, 2019. The conference convened by NIT Rourkela invited food scientists, food technologists, dieticians, agricultural scientists, academicians and student delegates of eminent institutions across the nation. The prime objectives of the conference were
- Discussing advances in post-harvest and food processing
- Discussing the concerns in sustainable agriculture and food processing
- Discussing strategies and solutions for food and nutritional security
- Conferring interdisciplinary approach of bioscience engineering in food technology.
The conference housed oral and poster sessions on thematic areas of innovation in food processing technology, post-harvest technology, waste management and effluent treatment, food quality and assurance among others. The conference served as a platform to brainstorm on ideas of innovation and develop ways of addressing a global issue of food security through sustainable means. Since, India, the second largest food-producing country, has attained self-sufficiency in food, it is prerogative to meet the challenges of production and efficient processing of food and agriculture to cater to a population of 1.2 billion and benefit from marginal surplus. The conference, a first of its kind organized by the Department of Food Processing, NIT Rourkela, received a total of 135 abstracts and 85 registrations with a turn-up ratio of 75. The notable delegates were from IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, ICAR Delhi, ICT Mumbai, NABARD, OUAT Bhubaneshwar, etc marking their presence.
Eminent speakers of the conference were Prof. H.N Mishra (IIT KGP), Prof. S.N Nayak (IIT Delhi), Prof. Snehasis Chakraborty (ICT Mumbai), Prof. Rajeev Panda (School of Management, NIT Rourkela) along with noteworthy guests like Mr. Somesh Singh (NABARD) gracing the confluence kick-starting with key keynotes patron of the conference Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director, NIT Rourkela. Speaking about the agenda and the objectives of the conference, the organizing head Prof. Rama Chandra Pradhan, Head of the department of food processing engineering, NIT Rourkela said, “Food security is a major challenge in the way of curbing hunger and enabling the development of food processing in India. So, through this conference, we are addressing sustainable food processing that plans to give inputs to the student community and scientists in achieving our objective of food security. We are grateful that delegates and visionaries across India turned up to participate in the conference.”
The convenors of the event were Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra, Prof. Sushil Kumar and Prof. Madhuresh Dwivedi of the department of food processing, NIT Rourkela. Prof. Preetam Sarkar (Dept. of food processing, NIT Rourkela) served as the treasurer and co-convenor of the conference. Prof. Dwivedi spoke to Monday Morning about some potent issues and their resolutions in the food security sector that surfaced through the conference. “Since food is a basic amenity of the society, it was essential that we theme this conference with food security. We addressed sections of technology, engineering and more scientific-oriented approach towards developing constructs and equipment. As we look forward to organising such conferences, we aim to sensitize everybody about the importance of food processing and consumption. We have come across roadmaps to tackle burning issues like malnutrition through functional food and also fortified product manufacturing. We also aim to develop such an engineering mechanism in our department.”
The conference also awarded the three best oral presentations and poster presentations along with best abstracts from each theme. A grateful Prof. Sabyasachi Mishra said,
The conference is a major event in the advent of the Food Security Act of the government. Adding sustainability to the cause makes it all the more crucial. Looking at the food wastage due to urbanization and population rise, the best way to tackle this is minimizing wastage in agricultural production as well as processed food. We should come up with deliberations towards developing infrastructure to address these issues. After all these sessions in the conference, we can surely help develop such ideas and mechanisms, particularly product development, packaging and storage among key areas.
Key-note speakers Prof. S.N Nayak and Prof. H.N Mishra spoke to Monday Morning about a successful seminar highlighting necessitated food safety engineering and enhancing production engineering. Prof. Nayak talked about his ventures in developing ‘Green Solvent’ to curb toxic effluents and isolate food preservatives, artificial colouring and flavours in the food processing industry and scale up new advancing technology in the field of food processing.
Prof. Mishra said,
NIT Rourkela, by organizing this conference, has taken the right step in a right direction because nowadays the country is facing a turmoil in food and nutritional security owing to umpteen reasons like improper por poor infrastructure, improper handling and storage that leads to wastage of product. So, post-harvest management and value additions are the prime challenges in the food processing sector. If we can save up to 5% of this wastage we can contribute tremendously to our national and rural economy. The 2-day deliberations and recommendations made in this conference by young researchers and fellows will be forthcoming to help improve the situation.
The conference was sponsored by NSERB India, Dept. of Science & Technology (Govt. of India), KK Lifesciences, Quebec Analytica, Khera, Future Solutions Inc., Aztech, Sri Ram Mahabir Prasad and Jagannath Printers & Publishers.