Jail food gets CFTRI certification

Country's premier food research body finds the food rich with calories, protein

In what could be termed as a feather in the cap for Central Prisons Mysore, Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has certified the quality of food served to the prisoners.

In his report, Director of the premier laboratory of the country, located in Mysore, S Ram Rajasekharan has asserted that the quantum of food being served to jail inmates under both the categories: Rigorous imprisonment (labouring) and simple imprisonment (non-labouring) were found to be adequate, and that further increase in the quantity was not necessary. The food scientists studied the computation of calories and protein content in the prescribed food diet and came out with above conclusion.

This follows a report sought by the prisons authorities, in view of the proposal to revise the diet scale prescribed to prisoners, to understand if it was devoid of recommended healthy contents like calories and protein.

The prisons authorities wanted to increase the quantity of boneless mutton served (per adult) from the current 115 grams to 200 grams. According to the study, the level of calories (in currently given mutton) is recorded at 223 kilo calories per day and protein at 21.30 grams per day. If increased, according to the proposed 200 grams, it would enrich further by 338 kilo calories, and 37 grams in the case of protein.

In the case of potato (raw), the present quantity (per adult) is 6.37 grams; calories at six and protein at 0.1, and the proposed 80 grams that could enhance calories level to 77.6, and protein to 1.3.

Likewise, the Prisons authorities had requested a study of the energy derived from vegetables like beans (0.26 kilo calories per gram), cabbage (0.27), carrot (0.460, beetroot (0.43), ladies finger (0.35), snake gourd (0.18), brinjal (0.24), and the food scientists have recorded their findings (as mentioned in the brackets). The scientists have also tested the amount of curry powder of different types used in cooking, boiled rice and other items like ghee, pepper, dry grapes among others.

Chief Superintendent of Prisons P N Jayashimha who confirmed receiving the report, was happy to note that the prison was the first to get the food served to its inmates, tested in a sophisticated lab.

The Mysore jail has around 1,300 inmates including convicts and undertrials, both men and women. Breakfast is served daily at 7 am, with rice made food items forming the main dish, besides beverages like coffee and tea. Lunch is served 11.30 am, where ragi balls, chapati and also rice is served with side dishes prepared using grams and vegetables.

Dinner is served at 4.30 pm. Mutton is the only non-vegetarian food served once in a week, on Tuesdays.

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