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Workshop on biodegradable emulsion

The Statesman, Kolkata, 29 August, 2013

A workshop on biodegradable emulsion that enhances shelf life of harvested fruits and vegetables without refrigeration will be held in the city tomorrow.

Mr Chanred Mohan of the Department of Chemistry, IIT Delhi, will  demonstrate the product.

The event is being organised by an NGO, Onward, and the product will be marketed through it, Ms Anita Mukherjee, secretary of Onward, said.

Fruwash, the biodegradable emulsion, has the potential to enable producers, traders and consumers to reduce the post-harvest losses up to more than 40 per cent, according to TIFAC Study.

 

Therefore, it is assumed that in the long term it can help reduce the prices for consumers and increase income of the farmers.

 

Ministry of Science and Technology (Department of Science and Technology), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Rural Development had jointly undertaken the development of the biodegradable emulsion to achieve food security and prevent waste of perishable food items.

 

This  is a project of national importance under STAC (Science and Technology Advisory Committee) mechanism of Planning  Commission with joint financial support from user ministries of the Central Government.

 

The proof of the concept of extending the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by using a natural product derived from abundantly available Indian bioresource and its efficacy has already been provided by real life demonstrations in 11 different states of the country.

National laboratories and universities at Delhi,

Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Lucknow and Gorakhpur have

accomplished the collection of scientific, toxicological and microbiological data.

It is felt that if the technology is disseminated in rural areas engaged in vegetable and fruit production, it will not only considerably save fruits and vegetables from getting wasted (currently valued at Rs 40,000 crore a year).

This will also contribute significantly to avoid solid wastes which are difficult to clean up with consequent serious health concerns.