1) Affordable Nutrition platforms for masses in the line of iodized salt campaign to overcome malnourishment especially in children and women: India subcontinent has a huge segment of population below poverty line who are deprived of basic nutrients like protein, iron, folic acid, vitamins etc. Infectious diseases like COVID, SARS etc. as well as other diseases take a toll on this population much easier compared to rest.  While nutritional interventions are available, usually these interventions are neither affordable nor part of the mainstream dietary regimen, that such populations have access to. 

 

Therefore, there is an imperative need for developing cost effective, easy to use, part of routine lifestyle of the masses, that can eradicate/reduce the malnourishment in terms of nutrients in a population that is at the bottom of the pyramid.  We have a successful case of eradicating iodine deficiency using common salt as the base. Similar models need to be developed to eradicate other deficiencies as well.

 

2) Appropriate technologies to replace ozonation of beverages/waters to avoid degradation of flavouring and other additives: Ozonation is widely used drinking water technique. However, Current ozonation process is not suitable to add any nutrients other than mineral as it oxidizes / disintegrates the composition of nutrients. Water can be a useful source of providing the minerals and vitamins to masses as it is the single largest beverage consumed. 

 

Therefore, an alternate purification process that can replace ozonation but doesn’t do any harm to added minerals and vitamins, is crucial.

 

3) Alternatives to metal based colored plastics to enable better recycling: Recycling of plastics is extremely important to keep the environment safe from dumping of plastics.  Currently more than 90% PET is already being recycled in India.  However, one of the issues faced in recycling is the colour used in PET bottles creates an environmental issue while recycling as metals are part of the colour used. 

 

Therefore, CSIR labs may explore to develop a technology for r-PET processing plants where colored & colorless bottles can be processed in the same stream, without any environmental issue. Alternately, exploring a PET color that does not generate metallic residues during r-PET processing, will be equally effective.

 

4) Alternate food packaging solutions to plastics such as biodegradable materials that can withstand the product integrity and shelf-life: Today there is a divided view on the use of biodegradable additives and materials for food packaging. Degradation of food package, for example, has major ramifications that include: Food safety issues; Migration of additives that have been released from the degrading package into food; Human exposure of additives in packaging that degrades; Health impacts on the gut microbiota of additives in packaging that degrade while in food contact; Food waste increases; Degradation of the package containing food may increase food waste.

 

Hence a holistic alternative to biodegradable materials that can withstand the product integrity and shelf-life will be a game changer. CSIR may work on this area in collaboration with food Industry.

 

5) Capability enhancement of certified labs to support the food safety culture:

Current there is no Laboratory proficiency testing done in India. Having a proficiency testing, will enable the labs to be classified on their proficiency that will help the user for identifying the right lab for food testing. Monitoring the quality of the analytical results by using effective Quality Control tools, can help prevent good product being discarded and stop non-confirming product being released.

 

Therefore, a proficiency testing like the FAPAS (Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme) of UK. This would enable the labs to be classified on their proficiency on a more routine basis and help the industry to have authentic analytical results.

 

6) Alternate technologies for packaging of low shelf-life food products to increase their shelf stability: Currently the bread that is sold in the market has very low shelf life and leads to lot of wastage in the food supply chain.

 

An alternate eco-friendly packaging solution which can increase the shelf life of such products must be explored to prevent the wastage of food.

 

7) Appropriate technologies to reduce the cost of solar energy storage devices to make solar energy usage affordable: Currently most of solar projects are feasible when net metering / open access is available as per state policy.  The excess generation in daytime can’t be used during the night.

Further, with more and more windmills and solar panels being used across India, we urgently need to explore the ways to recycle the equipment used for windmills or solar cells needs.

 

Development of cost-efficient battery systems that may allow storage of electricity will help adopt solar systems by Industry.

 

8) Low- cost devices/technologies for condensation of water from atmosphere: While there are technologies available to harvest the atmospheric water, their capacity (usually 1KL/Hour) is limited and hence don’t make it promising for an Industrial scale venture.  

 

Technology that can generation more water with lower cost can make this technology viable for field installations setups.

 

9) Reliable and reproducible analytical methods to estimate the juice % in the finished beverages:  Currently there is no validated standard method to determine what is the % of juice solids added in in final beverage (juice-based drinks). To satisfy the regulatory condition and keeping promise to the consumer against what is mentioned on label, there need to be a standard method to determine juice %. This will help regulators accurately find out the juice % in fruit juice drinks to ensure the compliance (regulation requires a minimum juice percentage in different categories of products). 

 

Developing a validated method for estimate the juice content in the fruit and vegetable juice-based products will be extremely useful for Govt (regulators) as well as Industry.

 

10) Cost effective alternate mechanism of tea processing to enhance extraction of cellular content of CTC tea: Flavour, Colour and texture of the brewed black tea depends largely on the proper extraction of the cell content of the tea leaves.  It is important that the cell wall of the tea is ruptured properly to allow the cell content pass on the brewed liquor.  This is partially done using the Pectinase during the CTC processing of tea leaves. However, Pectinase only acts on pectin part while the cell wall is made up of many other components in addition of Pectin.  Cost effective technologies, enzymatic or non-enzymatic, that can help complete extraction of tea leaves will reduce the cost of the tea leaves consumed by the consumes and it will also save the additional landmass required to grow the tea for future need.

 

Therefore, a cost-effective technology to enable compete extraction of cell wall content, may change the game in tea business.

 

11) Micro level food processing units to avoid spoilage of fruits and vegetables grown by farmers: A large part of primary foods, especially the fruits and vegetables, in India are destroyed due to lack of timely processing. As per an estimate, in India, Rs 92,651/- crores worth of food produced is wasted every year (Press Information Bureau, Aug. 2016).  One of the primary reasons for this waste is inability of the farmers or group of farmers to process this food, preserve and transport that to far-flung areas or to store them for future use.

 

Therefore, if simpler small scale processing technologies are developed and farmers are trained to adopt them, at least part of this wastage can be prevented, and farmers income can be enhanced.