Performance Evaluation and Process Optimization for Production of Ready-to-Eat Therapeutic Food Paste in Pilot Scale Unit

Students of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Rakesh Kumar Raigar, Danie Shajie A won the Appreciation award for research work of Performance Evaluation and Process Optimization for Production of Ready-to-Eat Therapeutic Food Paste in Pilot Scale Unit. They carried their project work under guidance of Dr. H N Mishra.

Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children below five years of age in India, where 8.1 million children are estimated to suffer from SAM. To combat this stumbling block, an indigenously developed readyto-eat therapeutic food (RTE-TF) is the need of the hour, catering the prerequisite of energy dense and nutrient rich ready-to-eat product containing defined calorie and essential nutrients which would be storage compatible, culturally acceptable; easy to administer; control and deliver at low cost for SAM children. A GMP/GHP compliance PLC controlled pilot scale unit has been commissioned in the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department at IIT Kharagpur aligning with the Make in India vision in treating SAM at community level with financial support from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi for the production of RTE-TF.

 Five RTE-TF formulations were developed using locally produced raw material and fortified with micronutrients. A peanut based formulation was processed for the performance evaluation and optimization of major equipment installed in the pilot scale unit. The material and system parameters for primary processing (batch operations) like roasting, deskinning, grinding etc. and PLC based continuous processing (viz. grinding, mixing & homogenizing) were optimized along with the standardization of PLC based clean-in-place (CIP) sanitization system. Physico-chemical, safety and nutritional characterization of the RTE-TF produced in the pilot scale unit was done and complied as per the norms defined by World Health Organization for SAM. The pilot scale process will reinforce the liability for sustainable production of RTE-TF paste which would aid in management of SAM in children in our country.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation to Rakesh Kumar Raigar, Danie Shajie A, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.

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