Sunday, February 6, 2011


No wonder that United States of America continues to dominate the food technology landscape in the world. Some of the best teaching universities on the subject are located in this country and their close linkage with the processing industry ensures flow of unlimited knowledge that enables the latter to come out with thousands of products in the market to meet the needs of every segment of the consumer population. One of the biggest weaknesses in Indian food technology teaching scenario is the "bookish" knowledge transferred by the faculty to the raw students with practically no access to hands on experience using state of the art processing facility. It is a pity that most of the university institutions boasting of high standard of teaching have pathetic pilot plant facilities with archaic equipment that can be seen no where in the world, fit to be put in a museum!. Here is an example of a premier University in the US going about the task of upgrading the food technology training facilities to make them the best in the world.

"Sacramento now has a new wireless fermentation system at UC Davis. It's part of a food-processing complex on campus that also now has a new sustainable winery and brewery along with its food complex. Check out the latest January 28, 2011 UC Davis news release of what's brewing in Sacramento that may affect your health in whatever way you responsibly choose. The good news, it's sustainable. And that's a healthy trend for Sacramento and Davis.See, UC Davis toasts new sustainable winery, brewery and foods complex. How does that sound to you--in the Sacramento-Davis regional area, a first rate university now toasts its new brewery? According to today's news release from UC Davis, hundreds of friends, supporters and alumni joined the new brewery, winery, and foods complex at the University of California, Davis. Today the university officially opened the doors to the world's most environmentally sophisticated facility for making wine, brewing beer and processing foods. How many said, "I'll drink to that?"The new, 34,000-square-foot teaching and research complex, located within UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, was financed entirely by private philanthropy — no state or federal funds were used. The campus received more than $20 million in private support to construct and equip the complex, according to the news release. It is the first such building to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating for environmental design and construction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.) Campus leaders also hailed the new complex for its advanced technology, including the world's first wireless wine fermentation system."We are so very proud of this state-of-the-art teaching and research complex," said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. "It is a crown jewel for UC Davis. And it is proof of our enduring commitment to food, wine, beer and agriculture, overall — here in our region and globally".

University of California, Davis in Sacramento is an old center of food technology training. It is a tribute to the far-sightedness of the authorities there that they never allowed obsolescence to overwhelm them in spite of financial crunch all around and continued to seek funding for timely upgrade of their facilities. Full credit to their dedication, commitment and perseverance which enabled them to establish credibility and reputation that attracted thousands of aspiring students opting for food technology degrees and if private philanthropists came forward to fund their new facilities it is because of this factor. It is a tragedy that the food technology training institutions in India cannot even attract one rupee from the private sector industry, depending all the time on public funding from the exchequer. Probably nothing short of some revolutionary change in the mindset all around can bring about radical changes in the prevalent system. A few years ago there was a proposal to impose a small "technology levy" on all processed food products which when accumulated over a period of time would be sizable enough to modernize the education and the R & D system. Alas! who is there to listen to such constructive proposals, let alone act on it!


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