DFRL working on ready-to-eat food for civilians

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Mysore, Jan 6 (UNI) The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) has emerged as one of the leading institutions in the area of developing ready-to-eat food items for civilian population of the country.

Known for designing light weight packed rations for the Armed forces, DFRL has now developed technologies for the preservation and packaging of a large number of popular food items with a minimum shelf life of six months to one year under all-weather conditions.

It has evolved a simple scheme for transfer of know-how of these products for the benefit of food processing entrepreneurs in the country.

DFRL's products available for commercial exploitation include the technology for preservation of tender coconut water and neera or toddy (Coconut Sap).

DFRL sources told UNI tender coconut water was preserved in natural form and packed in beverage cans. The shelf life of the product was six months under ambient and nine months under refrigerated conditions.

The product was microbiologically safe and wholsesome for consumption, DFRL claimed.

Farmers have been seeking technology for preservation of tender coconut water, which was rich in minerals, particularly potassium and consumed by a number of people for a variety of reasons as a health drink.

The laboratory initiative to come up with a technology has found a number of takers not only in Karnataka but in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, West Bengal and Mahrashtra.

DFRL Director A N S Bawa said after harvesting, the quality of tender coconut water begins to deteriorate after 72 hours.

The bulkiness of the coconuts adds to the transporation cost and the availability of tender coconut water was restricted to certain area. The laboratory came up with the technology to overcome all these constraints.

Now, the DFRL has transferred the technology to a number of entreprenurs across the country through the Coconut Development Board, which comes under the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

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