A Network For Promoting Research And Development in Fermented Foods
Fermentation is a process of food preservation with great potential. It is an envioronment friendly process, consumes less energy and produces less waste. It is easy to manage both under simple house hold conditions and in asn industrial scale. It could be applied to a wide variety of raw matierials to produce a variety of different finished foods products. it has the advantage of being generally regarded as safe (GRAS) and offers immense opportunities for production of novel products which can be classified as " organic foods" , "health foods" , "convenience foods" , "ethnic foods" , "neutraceuticals" , "functionals foods " and not to forget "foods for clinical nutrition". Cereals , pulses , root crops , vegetables , fruits , meat and fish are preseved by one or other method of fermentation in some part of the world. The knowledge of making traditional fermented foods has been recognised to be of immense value to the future generations by FAO , WHO and another related agencies.
In 1908 , Dr Eli Metchnikoff who was awarded one of the earliest Nobel prizes summariesed his observations on the effect of fermented foods on the health status and well-being of humans beings, In his books "Prolongation of Life ". Now , after all thee years , the positive effects of prebiotic substances and probiotic organisms in synbiotic foods is a matter of great attention among the researchers, medical practitioners, food companies, and marketing agencies, because the demand for such products is enormous and it is growing fast day by day.
Research and development is considered to be an expensive item in the economy of a foods company. However research and development could be less expensive and more effective when it is carried out as collaborative network projects where various universities , industries , institutions , faculties and researchers work together towards a common goal. Developmentof modern food products may also require input from many different specialised areas of science and technology. Each step , starting from cultivation , harvesting , quality of the raw materials , processing , storage , nutritive value and safety before consumption , immediate effects on well-being and long term efects on health is too complex to be understood well by a single scientist. Moreover a number of specialists can work togther more efficiently and create a lot of new knowledge about a product or a process in a relatively shor period of time.
In this context , an International Seminar and Workshop was organized on " Fermented Foods , Health Status and Social Well-being" in November 2003 at Anand , Gujarat State , India with basic support from SASNET - Lund Universtiy , GAU-Gujarat Agricultural Univercity and NABARD - National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development , India in all 168 delegates participated in the Programme , representing different parts of India and also Sweden , Denmark , Nepal , SriLanka , Bangladesh , USA and Australia.
In the final Joint Session , the participants unanimously resolved under the chairmanship of Dr. Baboo M. Nair to establish a Network on Fermented Foods asking the organizing committee of the seminar to be the interim coordinating committee for development of proposals and for entrusting Dr. JB Prajapati as the co-ordinator of this network during thios period. At present SASNET - Fermented Foods is a non - governmental organisation registered under the charitable societies act of 1956.
The main aim of the network is to promote research and development of fermented foods products in collaboration with scientists , students , industrialists , producers and consumers.
For moredetails go to www.fermented-foods.net