Thanjavur: What has the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) in Thanjavur achieved so far? Has its technologies helped farmers and entrepreneurs?
Director Dr Anandharamakrishnan cites many examples. One is the ‘Neera’ tapping machine developed by the IIFPT. With state government permitting ‘Neera’ production and sale this machine will help farmers to slice inflorescence of coconut trees and tap it by lessening the work of coconut tree climbers.
“The machine has to be attached to the inflorescence. It will slice the inflorescence morning and evening, normally done by coconut tree climbers. It will also do the tapping of the inflorescence once in two days. Neera will be made to flow through an insulated hose to a container kept down the tree. Maintaining a temperature of four degree celcius, the drink can be taken and sold,” explained Anandharamakrishnan.
Cost of the machine is to be worked out but already IIFPT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anaimalai's Coconut Producer Society, Coimbatore and Pudukottai Farmers Producers Company, Pudukottai, for supplying the technology. “IIFPT has also signed an MoU with Anaimalai’s coconut producer company, Coimbatore and Pudukottai Coconut Farmers Producer Company Ltd for supplying Neera sugar crystals technology, with Pollachi Coconut Producer company Ltd, Pollachi, for supplying virgin coconut oil.”
“We have also signed MOUs with Tamil Nadu State Agriculture Marketing Board for erection and commissioning of mobile food processing units and small onion peeling machine for onion growing farmers of Ariyalur district and Tamil Nadu Banana Producer company ltd, Thottiam for supply of banana juice technology” the director explained.
He also regretted that 260 ml milk coconut packets from China are sold in Thanjavur town itself. “China is not a major producer of coconut, imports it but makes value added product of coconut milk and sells it. Why can't we replace it with our product,” he asked.
IIFPT has developed technology for coconut milk, tender coconut milk powder, coconut chips, freeze dried sliced banana, tomato and beet root and millet ice cream, he said.
With respect to paddy and rice, the institute is concentrating on storage. It has developed online moisture measurement machine which measures the moisture of paddy before storing and using a radioactive drier to control moisture. The technology has been supplied to Food Corporation of India (FCI).
“We are planning to start a centre of excellence in grain science with respect to rice millets and pulses. We are concentrating on converting rice and pulses milling waste into a snack product that might help in putting an end to malnourishment. We are working on improving par boiling condition of rice,” the director said....