Over the past few years, Superfoods have been dotting the market around the world. From chia seeds and Quinoa, to food rich in Omega-3, superfoods have become must-haves. However, in India, these superfoods haven’t been easily available to the common man as they are more expensive and therefore limited to a select group of society. But that might change. The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has maximised theagri-products which are now grown in India and are healthy, nutritious and affordable for the common man.
Recently, at a trade fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, Chia- and quinoa-based chocolates and laddoos, Omega-3 enriched ice-cream, multigrain banana bar and fruit juice-based carbonated drinks were displayed at the CFTRI stall.
The Necessity For Superfoods In India
With a growing incedence of diabetes, impaired heart health and obesity along with high malnutrition, the Indian population has recognised a need to move towards healthier, and more sustainable lifestyles. Keeping in mind an effective solution needed to address these concerns, CSIR-CFTRI worked on bringing superfoods to the Indian population.
Thus, it has developed the agro-technology for growing chia and quinoa in Indian conditions. Chia is the richest source of omega-3 fats from a vegetarian source.Quinoa has protein content and low glycemic load carbohydrates. Both chia and quinoa can blend seamlessly into traditional food preparations.
In addition, the has been testing diacylglycerol (DAG) cooking oil with anti-obesity functionalities which is in the final phase of human clinical trials. Further, they have developed snacks to support the nutrition needs of growing children, which now complement the existing government mid-day meal.
The products, such as nutri-chikki with spirulina, rice beverage mix, high-protein rusk, energy food, nutri sprinkle, sesame paste and fortified mango bars have been well accepted by the children. The institute stated that a new addition was multi-grain banana bars.
Superfoods For Every Need
This Mysuru-based has also been working on smart foods to answer specific needs of consumers. Ares being targetted include better sleep, better skin health, improved digestion, better cognitive performance and better stress management. The institute has over 300 products, processes and equipment designs, and around 4,000 licensees.
“Our mandate is to find innovative solutions to India agricultural and nutritional challenges. Our aim is to develop products to make Indian agriculture productive, efficient and at a consumer level gradually replace drugs with foods that will promote better health and wellness. We strive to deliver our best in improving food security and nutrition security, also developing a stronger, smarter and healthier India,” said Ram Rajasekharan, director, CFTRI.