Mustering A #ZeroHunger Vision On World Food Day: Department Of Food Processing Engineering Gears Up!

Mustering A #ZeroHunger Vision On World Food Day: Department Of Food Processing Engineering Gears Up!

Tanaya Sahoo | Oct 21, 2019

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On 16th, October 2019 the world observed World Food day. The day generates global awareness to cater to the needs of a massive populace that starves and is malnourished owing to depreciating nutrition needs. Most importantly, this day observes that food is a basic and fundamental human right. Every year alike, this year the theme for world food day was declared as, “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diet for A #ZeroHunger World”.

The Food Processing department of NIT Rourkela promptly celebrated this occasion by convening a thematic programme on Healthy Diet for a Zero Hunger World. The chief guest and the spokesperson of the event happened to be the esteemed Senior Manager of Guilt-free Food Ltd., Dr Navneet Singh Deora. Mr Deora among others focuses on the global goals for sustainable development in food processing regime. With a conviction that partnership with prominent institutes like ours and a visionary industrial revolution, he went on addressing the gathering of Food processing enthusiasts. Mr Deora told Monday Morning,

World food day is more relevant in developing countries like ours for a lot of terms be it starvation or malnutrition. Parallelly, we are getting increasingly unhealthy. We are becoming a diabetic and hypertension capital. On one side we have a population that is starving, on the other side, we don’t manage food efficiently. Wastage, environmental deterioration and inadequate handling of food is enormous. So, considering these aspects we feel there has to be a bigger revolution in terms of food sustainability. We need to work on what will hold us together in the next 20 years because water is getting depleted and we are running out of the land. So, mostly development has to happen agriculturally and then focus on sustainability in the industry. The technology revolution has to centre around plant-based food which is more sustainable and relevant.

Adding on he emphasised on how there is an international disparity towards food management. Companies like Impossible Foods based in the US have effectively worked towards realizing greater goals working on meat analogues which aren’t exactly meat-based. This is a major breakthrough that India needs to develop as well. There are multiple avenues likewise that can be worked on to create zero hunger. This is where the importance of institutions like NIT Rourkela come into play that works on advanced food research. To cater to rising demands and check loses, industrial and research-based partnership with institutes will help to create a roadmap for technical mobilization and to optimise shelf-life of foods which will further reach remote areas with an intent for the next 15-20 years. Mr Deora adds,

Any institute that dedicatedly works towards this goal in 5-10 years will become a pioneer institute. My intention is to work with them and future foods. Getting to know this institute’s faculty and my discussions with them I am optimistic because the department has just taken off and that works best to take up dynamic goals. This will help bring a distinction to this department above others. Social impact is most felt where you most influence, that is, at an undergraduate level, if one wishes to make an impact, they should take up entrepreneurship. Rather than getting jobs, strive to create jobs.

Prof. R.C Pradhan, Head of Department of Food processing engineering said,

This year on the occasion of world food day we have vowed to work towards zero hunger as our objective. I thank Dr Navneet Singh Deora to grace us and interact with us towards achieving a bigger goal. We are happy to work with him to open a centre of excellence in advancing food research. He would also collaborate with us to offer some training to our students. This way our students will benefit on technical aspects of the industry. Statistically, around 670 million people are suffering from obesity around the world and nearly 820 million people starve! This is all because of a bad food habit, unhealthy consumption and inadequate technical developments. Our students being the next generation of developers should be able to learn and cope with these challenges to achieve healthy food and zero hunger objectives to create sustainability. This event was organised with this intention.

The event was coordinated and convened by the newest additions to the department, professors Madhuresh Dwivedi and Sushil Kumar Singh. The day also marked a Quiz competition session and a poster presentation session with the thematic objective of World food day. Debashish Nath, Rahul Islam Barbhuiya and Nisha Sulakhi emerged winners of the Quiz sessions while Monjurul Hoque, Gopesh Patel, Mahipal Singh Tomar and Sisir Kantasahoo, Kabita Lodge and Dileshwar Pradhan were declared winners of poster presentation.

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