Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This Blogger has been crying hoarse for the last 3 decades to no avail regarding the neglect of Indian ethnic foods by food scientists in the universities as well as specialized food research institutions. The yeoman work carried out during fifties and sixties of the last millennium on products like Idli, Vada, Dosa etc to develop ready mixes served admirably to popularize these foods with younger generation and nuclear families but further progress was not perceptible as most younger scientists considered working on western foods like biscuits and others more appealing to further their career. If to day only Gulab Jamun and Rosagolla are available with long shelf life while all others are perishable within a matter of few days, no one is to be blamed but the native scientists for their total neglect of these products. Recent reports of CFTRI Mysore developing suitable packaging technology to preserve products like Laddu, Bombay Halwa, Carrot Halwa, Doodhi Halwa etc are most welcome, hopefully heralding a renaissance of this sector. It is highly satisfying to see a foreign company based in the US getting international quality certification for about 3 dozen products based on Indian cuisines which are popular in that country. Here are details about the accomplishments of this pioneer.  

"Deep Foods, the leading producer of restaurant quality frozen Indian cuisine, announces its vegetarian and vegan qualification by the prestigious American Vegetarian Association™ (AVA). As part of their commitment to producing only the highest quality Indian cuisine, Deep Foods is pleased to take this next step forward in achieving nationally recognized vegetarian and vegan food certification.
The AVA was created to promote the interests and concerns of individuals and organizations involved in the preservation, propagation, and distribution of vegetarian ideas and products. The primary goal of the AVA is to provide a widely recognized certification program that will enable vegetarian-minded people to make accurate food choices, being certain they can be confident in their selection and that of the manufacturer's claims. "As consumers become more and more health conscious, it's our responsibility to offer a diverse range of restaurant quality Indian cuisine that is 100% safe for vegetarians and vegans, and for those with allergies," said Mike Ryan, VP Marketing, Deep Foods. "For that reason, Deep Foods is proud to manufacture products that are AVA vegetarian and vegan certified." The AVA-certified logo will be clearly displayed on a total of 35 Deep Foods products, denoting either vegetarian or vegan certification. The Deep Foods product line offers 19 vegetarian and 16 vegan options".

Food manufacturers in the US are fortunate in that they have well managed Indian stores, spread across that country with frozen and refrigerated display facilities with high capacity while the cold chain infrastructure is one of the best in the world. It is amazing that there are at least 100 Indian origin processed products made in or imported into the country which can vet the appetite of any food connoisseur
while in its land of origin one cannot even see 10% of these items! These products represent almost all major ethnic segments in the south as well as north providing a wide choice for US settled families. With such certification facilities available at least for vegetarian items, the clientele for Indian foods can be expected to expand very significantly among local population.            


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