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Seminar on Food Processing and preservation concludes at IUST

Awantipora/Srinagar, November 21 (Scoop News) – A two day seminar “ASPIRE – A Food Industry Academia Interface” on Challenges and Opportunities in Food Processing Industries concluded today at Islamic university of Science and Technology campus Awantipora.

The seminar was organized by the Department of Food Technology IUST from November 20-21.
The event was organized to highlight various opportunities in food sector of State with due emphasis on food processing, food adulteration and detection as per the international standards.
The valedictory function held at the campus saw the presence of Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, Prof Talat Ahmad as the Chief Guest.
Addressing the gathering, Prof Talat said that the state of JK was self-sufficient in terms of food production and needs to adopt modern facilities for its preservation.
Extending full support and coordination, he expressed his willingness for mutual collaboration between IUST and the Bio-Technology Department of University of Kashmir for sharing of resources which will benefit students and faculty.
Prof Talat further said that it was encouraging to see that nuclear dose injection increases the shelf life of the fruits.” There are several other technologies by use of which we can preserve our fruit produce for a long time. In Kashmir’s context, the technological advancements in terms of food processing will help increase the storage life of fruits like apple,” he added.
Vice Chancellor IUST, Professor A R Trag highlighted the various possibilities and career options available in the field of Food Technology.
He said that the food processing has tremendous scope at local as well as the National level. “Kashmir is a largest producer of Apple, however, due to lack of cold storages and other preserving facilities we incur huge losses every year,” he said.
In his address, Vice Chancellor IUST, Prof A R Trag stressed on the importance of food processing which he claimed was is still in its infancy.
Encouraging the students to take up the Food Technology course as the subject has tremendous employment generative prospects. “In food industry, the share of food processing is around 32 percent and some 13 million jobs are available in the industry,” he added.
He further said that since agricultural products as the raw material for food processing was in abundance were available in JK state, establishment of cold storages, food processing units and manufacturing of value added products in milk and vegetables would prove to be a viable and profitable activity. “ As such the students who graduate in food Technology should not rely on jobs only in Government and private sector but take entrepreneurship in Food Technology as their career. This however, will be possible if they acquire good subject knowledge, skills, practical training and habit of working diligently and seriously,” he added.
. “Industrialists are invited in these kinds of seminars so as to make the students aware of the ground realities in the food sector” Prof A.R. Trag said.
Prof. Trag said that more than 13 Lakh tonnes of apple mature in just a period of one . “When supplied to the market creates glut resulting in falling of prices and thus lesser returns to the growers. If the supply of apple and other fruits to market is regulated, it would result in better returns to growers,” Prof Trag added.
“For this purpose, establishment of cold storages with a capacity to store atleast 50 percent of produce will be highly beneficial for the industry. Various schemes for processing vegetables and fruits adopted by the state have produced encouraging results. Adding further Prof, Trag said that Milk is being processed mostly to be sold in liquid form, however, if a sizable portion of the same is converted into value added products, it will give maximum benefits,” he informed.
Dean School of Technology, Prof KKS Jamwal and Head, department of Food Technology Prof SPS Guleria also spoke on the occasion.
Registrar IUST, Prof AG Rather, Dean School of Business studies, Prof A R Matoo, Chief Librarian, Prof Wajih Alvi, officials from the district office of department of Science and Technology besides Heads, faculty members and students of various departments were also present at the valedictory function.
Assistant Professor, Department of Food Technology, Er. Tariq Ahmad presented vote of thanks.

Meanwhile, Technical Session III on the second day of the event highlighted the menace of food adulteration. A documentary on traditional methods of food preservation was presented by the students. Speakers from SKUAST –K threw light on Food Safety Act, adulteration in animal food, various adultrants used in food industry, adulteration in honey etc.
It should be noted that on the first day of the seminar, Minister for Agriculture Production, Ghulam Hassan Mir, was the Chief Guest on the inaugural function of the event, highlighted the importance of consumer’s interest besides insisting upon good manufacturing and good hygienic practices. Mir emphasized on proper handling of food articles right from the place of its production. “Food safety is directly related to public well being”, Mir said.
He also visited various facilities available in the IUST including Food Technology and Computer Labs, Community Radio Studio, Library etc. Praising the management of Islamic University of Science and Technology, Mir expressed satisfaction over significant progress made by the University in a short span of time.
Later on, the speakers on the Technical Session I on 20th November 2012 highlighted Challenges and Opportunities in Food Processing Industry in J&K.
Dr. Khurshid-Ul-Islam, Resource Person from EDI expressed the entrepreneurial opportunities in Food Technology. Speakers from industries like Kanwal Spices, Khyber Agro Farms gave a brief presentation on the upcoming entrepreneurs of the state. Technical Session II was based on Research and Development facilities available in various institutions of J&K. Speakers from SKUAST-K and University of Kashmir made the participants aware of the facilities in SKUAST-K and University of Kashmir. Mr. Tsewang Punchok, Chief Horticulture Officer - LAHDC Leh gave an idea about schemes of State Government for PHT.
Registrar IUST , Prof AG Rather presented vote of thanks on day one.
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