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          FP sector will be made more transparent & attractive to investors: Sahai

          The union minister of food processing industries, Subodh Kant Sahai, has said that the Vision 2015 document on food processing industries had suggested a number of measures aimed at enhancing and stabilising the income level of the farmers.

          It also provides choice to consumers in terms of greater variety and taste including traditional ethnic food, providing greater assurance about safety and quality of food to consumers. "This enables promoting a dynamic food processing industry, enhancing the competitiveness of food processing industry in both domestic as well as international markets, making the sector transparent & attractive for both domestic and foreign investors, achieving integration of the food processing infrastructure from farm to market, having a transparent and industry friendly regulatory regime and putting in place a transparent system of standards based on science," Sahai said.

          Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha recently, he said, the Vision 2015 document also envisioned tripling the size of the processed food sector by increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20%, value addition from 20% to 35% and share in global food trade from 1.5% to 3% by 2015. As against this, it is estimated that currently, the processing levels have increased to about 11% with value addition estimated at 26%.

          Source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28864&sectionid=2

          Eastern states stagger in food processing

          While the southern states have shown encouraging progress in bringing up food processing industries, the sloth eastern states were a cause of worry for the government.

          “ The southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have shown encouraging progress in availing central government schemes to promote food processing units but slow progress in eastern states was really a cause of worry,” minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai said.

          “Unless and until we register good progress of food processing industries in states like Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal the drive to increase volume of processing of fruit & vegetables from 11 % now to 25% by 2015 would be a difficult task,” Sahai said.

          Sahai said his ministry was focusing on these laggard states by writing to the governments there to pull up their socks and also through intensified campaign.

          In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Sahai had rolled out statistics to show the projects his ministry had approved.

          “A total of 41 projects were sanctioned for Andhra Pradesh in 2009-10,” the minister said. In Karnataka, 24 projects were given a green signal while 41 projects in Tamil Nadu and 33 in Kerala also received a go-ahead during the period.

          On the other hand, there were only two projects in Bihar, six in Orissa and 10 in West Bengal in the last financial year.

          The scenario was still more gloomy in the north-eastern states. While there were only three projects approved in Arunachal Pradesh in 2009-10, it was six in Manipur, two in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland had one each, Tripura and Sikkim had none.

          Joint secretary in food processing industries, Ajit Kumar said that his ministry had undertaken intensified publicity drive in the eastern states to educate farmers about virtues of the food processing units to further their income.

          “Camps were organised at Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga in Bihar and Orissa's capital Bhubneswar recently to popularise the food processing scheme which promised hefty monetary assistance for opening a unit,” he added.

          Source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28884&sectionid=2

          EFSA approves use of “Chromium Picolinate” in foods

          New York-based Nutrition 21 Inc; the developer and marketer of ingredients for dietary supplements, foods and beverages, and animal nutrition, has announced the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued its safety assessment supporting the use of chromium picolinate in foods intended for the general population in the European Union (EU).

          In its safety assessment, EFSA concluded that “chromium picolinate” has a large margin of safety supporting its use as a source of chromium up to the maximum level established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

          Chromium picolinate is the chemical compound that is sold as a nutritional supplement to prevent or treat chromium deficiency.

          There are claims that the picolinate form of chromium supplementation aids in reducing insulin resistance, particularly in diabetics, but a meta-analysis of chromium supplementation studies showed no association between chromium and glucose or insulin concentrations for non-diabetics, and inconclusive results for diabetics.

          EFSA’s safety review was in response to Nutrition 21’s application to market “Chromax chromium picolinate” as a source of chromium in conventional foods in Europe. The safety assessment is an initial step in obtaining formal EU approval of chromium picolinate as an acceptable form of chromium for use in foods. The company expects the formal approval will be issued in 2011.

          “The safety review was extensive and included a review of Nutrition 21’s safety data on Chromax chromium picolinate, our manufacturing and product specifications, and the long-term, high-dose, toxicity studies independently conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program,” said James Komorowski, vice president – R&D at Nutrition 21.

          source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28891&sectionid=23

          Analyst spies global food process-functionality boost

          Growing interest from food processors in providing healthier convenience products is driving a surge in global demand for functional ingredients, particularly in emerging markets like India, suggests recent market analysis.

          Aditi Basu, a consultant specialising in food and chemical operations within the regions of South Asia and the Middle East for Frost & Sullivan, claims that markets such as India present huge potential for ingredient and food groups able to provide functional products in particular.

          By 2010, global demand for food and beverage ingredients is expected to reach $30bn (€21.6bn) from $25bn (€18bn) in 2007, according to Frost & Sullivan predictions compiled for global market intelligence organisation ICIS.

          Indian Growth

          With overall year-on-year growth in the global ingredients market expected between five to six per cent, the findings claim that manufacturers may see even higher increases in a market such as India.

          Basu states that the Indian ingredients market is posting annual growth of between seven to eight per cent, though in more niche areas like health food, double-digit expansion is expected.

          Growing interest in processed foods in the country was seen as helping to push demand for such ingredients, reflecting increasing awareness amongst on-the-go consumers of functional food and drinks.

          Processor push

          The analyst suggests that increasingly hectic lifestyles among Indian consumers, and the resulting concerns on maintaining nutritious diets, have led to surging growth in the Indian food processing sector since 2007, albeit it from a low-base.

          Basu states that, such is the regard for the potential of Indian food processing, that the business sector is now the fifth largest in India and mirrors similar interest in the country’s burgeoning IT industry.

          While Frost & Sullivan claims that India can offer multinational ingredients groups huge opportunities for growth and development, the analyst adds caution, noting that there are certain development challenges to be overcome in the market.

          Basu suggests that despite major government initiatives being undertaken to revise national food safety laws, as well as agricultural regulations, growth is occurring amidst a general lack of centralised control in the Indian supply chain.

          Nonetheless, the analyst expects a definite upward trend in India for specialty health ingredients like probiotics and fatty acids.

          Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/Analyst-spies-global-food-...

          Indian government launches food processing industry magazine

          The Indian Government has launched a food processing magazine as part of its push to fast-track the development of the sector.

          The quarterly publication, called “Food 360° - India’s Processing Revolution”, is one a raft of measures put forward by the government to capture the imagination of industry players, farmers and the population at large, said a statement from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI).

          The ministry has also announced the launch of its redesigned, user-friendly website which will act as an important information source for industry stakeholders. Officials further hope its will be a useful tool to attract investment into the sector both from within India and abroad.

          Both measures form part of its 100-day action plan designed to kick-start the domestic food processing industry.

          Minister Shri Sahai said: “The food processing industry, a sunshine sector of the Indian economy, is the key to transforming India by making agriculture viable and market-driven, ensuring inclusive growth and reducing mass poverty.”

          Sahai said both the magazine and website would be key instruments in helping government meet its ambitious goals of trebling the size of the food processing sector from $70bn in 2005 to $215bn by 2015.

          After the success of India’s information Technology (IT) and the biotechnology (BT) sectors which transformed India’s urban economy, it is now the turn of food technology or FT to usher in an economic revolution in India’s vast rural hinterland, he added.

          Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/Indian-government-launches...

          India to create up to 350 food processing units in next 100 days, sector seen as key to economic growth

          The Indian Government has unveiled ambitious plans to help set up as many as 350 food processing units over the next 100 days as part of what it calls the country’s Evergreen Revolution.

          The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) said it is also planning to invest one trillion rupees (€14bn) in the sector by 2015 in a bid to create as many as 10 million new jobs. Minister Shri Sahai declared he wanted to more than treble India’s food processing industry over the next five years and double its share of global trade to three per cent.

          Food processing key

          The government declared it wanted to put promotion of the food processing industry at the heart of its plans to revitalise India’s agricultural sector and drive the economy.

          “The Ministry believes such growth will transform India by making agriculture viable, ensuring inclusive growth and reducing mass poverty,” said an official statement

          Sahai added: “After the Green Revolution, we are now ushering in the evergreen revolution in the country. Processing is an evergreen activity. It's the key to the agricultural sector.”

          Training programme

          The start ups would take in processing from across the food sector, including meat, fruit, vegetable, dairy, grain and the consumer food segment. MoFI said it would provide a subsidy of up to 25 per cent - up to a maximum of five million rupees – of the initial costs.

          Sahai said there was an urgent need for 100,000 trained workers and revealed proposals to bring a further one million on-stream by 2015, along with 500,000 women entrepreneurs. He added the first phase of the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) would also be inaugurated over the next 100 days to act as a key training institution to provide the skills for the burgeoning industry.

          Tax holiday

          The government also said it had plans to commission two integrated cold chain projects within 100 days and the initial processing unit in the country’s first Mega Food Park - one of 10 such proposed processing hubs over the next two years.
          The minister reiterated his desire for the government to grant a tax holiday for all food processing units, as well as a reduction in VAT and customs duties on food products, raw materials, machinery and packaging used by the sector.

          Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/India-to-create-up-to-350-...

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