NIT Rourkela shines at National Nutri-Cereal Convention 4.0, bags Best Institute title for Food Process Engineering

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NIT Rourkela has been conferred with ‘Best Institute (Food Process Engineering)’ under Poshak Annaj Award 2022 by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) and Nutrihubfor promoting the researchon millet processing and product development.NutriHub and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-IIMR organised “National Nutri-Cereal Convention, 4.0, NNCC at Hyderabad on 24th September, 2022. Representing the institute, Prof.Chandan Kumar Sahoo,Dean (faculty welfare) received the award at the convention.

Speaking on the achievement, Prof. Parag Prakash Sutar (Head of the Department, Food Process Engineering) said, “Millets are called the super grain because of their high nutritional value. We are constantly developing the ways to increase the consumer acceptability for millet based product to include in their daily diet along with the wheat and rice. Through food processing experiments we try to ensure that the consumer preference should not change because of its taste.India’s initiative to promote millet was recognized along with the support of 72 other countries and the United Nations General Assembly has recently declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. As the Hon’ble Prime Minister has announced celebration of the International year of Millet (2023)’, all the faculties, staff, and students of the food process engineering department are working with extraordinary dedication in the millet research.”

Congratulating the department, Prof. K.Umamaheshawar Rao (Director, NIT Roukela) said, “NIT Rourkela is known for its multidisciplinary engineering courses and the Food Process Engineering department is one among them. It is one of the few institutes of the national importance in the country to have a full-fledged Food Process Engineering department.The department is committed to excelling in millet research and developing a new range of millet-based staple food so that everyone is guaranteed good health and food security. I congratulate the whole team for putting effort and constantly working to achieve more.”

The department currently has 12 faculties and more than 200 undergraduates, masters, and Ph.D. students working on several R&D projects with a strong understanding of blending of engineering principles in food science and food nutrition.The department have successfully completed the production of millet-based milk and preparation of millet milk powder. One of the ongoing projects of the department is focussed on developing low-cost all-in-one millet processing machine to reduce the primary processing cost. The developed processing machine will decrease the capital investment of small-scale millet growers for value addition of millet. The faculty members have collaborated internationally for exploring millet based projects and are part of several Government organisations controlling millet based product quality.

At this convention, the State of Odisha also received the ‘Best State for Scaling Up Millet Mission’ award for promoting millet cultivation and the use of millet-based products.

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