'Brainstorming sessions provide solution for nutrition problems'

'Brainstorming sessions provide solution for nutrition problems'

Every Indian has brilliant ideas but, they need a platform: Minister

Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan, on Monday, asked Director General (DG) for Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Girish Sahani to organise a national-level brainstorming session at Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), here, to chalk out a plan to eradicate nutrition-related problems in the country.

After inaugurating ‘Make in India in Food Processing-Initiatives by CSIR-CFTRI’ at CFTRI, the minister said, professionals working on nutrition should come together to chalk out solutions for various problems in the country.

Every one in the field of nutrition are trying to eradicate the problem in their own way. “Coming together would result in getting unique ideas. Today’s economy is ‘idea’ and ideas will come out only when people sit together to discuss something,” the minister said.

Every Indian has brilliant ideas but, they need a platform to express them. The country is lacking such brain storming sessions. He asked the DG to organise a session involving nutritional professionals, medicos, food and safety officials and other experts in the field.

He said, millions of children in the country are suffering due to malnutrition problems including 87 per cent of all pregnant women and a majority of girls are anemic.

Earlier, the minister released carbonated fruit juice products, based on grape, apple and pomegranate, with 20 per cent juice, which are standardised by the CSIR-CFTRI. Vardhan said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked multi-national companies to mix their carbonated drinks with fruit juices to help farmers of the country. Now, the laboratory has come forward with a viable process, which can help the country achieve ‘Yellow Revolution’. Currently, India processes only 2.2 per cent of the total production, and almost 35 per cent of fruits and vegetables are wasted because of lack of processing and storage capabilities. As the market for soft drinks is growing at 30 per cent, annually, with a whopping Rs 25,000 crore for carbonated drinks itself, the research outcome has immense possibilities in the consumer segment, he said.

Tasting the juice, he said, the drink appears quite tasty. With a good strategy, it helps the country, consumers to get good nutrition and also the farmers. The product can give the aerated drinks a run for their money, which have a negative impact on health, he said.