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IIFPT making nutrient-rich foods for COVID-19 patients

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New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) is making nutrient-rich foods for patients affected by COVID-19 and also those who have recovered from the disease, the food processing ministry said on Thursday.

IIFPT, which is a national-level academic and research institution under the Ministry of  Food Processing Industries, is making products like bread, rusks and cookies and millet pops, which are enriched with spices and other natural immunity-booster ingredients.

The institute, which has its main campus at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, and liaison offices at Bathinda, Punjab, and Guwahati, Assam, offers various services in areas of food processing, value addition, food quality and safety, and business incubation.

In an official statement, the ministry said IIFPT is supporting India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal “appreciated the initiative taken by IIFPT to manufacture nutrient rich foods for COVID-19 patients at a time when the need for healthy and immunity boosting foods is indispensable”, as per the statement

The institute has been making such nutrient-rich foods for COVID-19 patients under medical examination and those who recently recovered from the pandemic after treatment at Thanjavur Medical College, Tamil Nadu, the statement said.

IIFPT has been supporting the efforts of the district administration, Thanjavur and Thanjavur Medical College (TMC) in combating COVID-19.

Its Director C Anandharamakrishnan said scientists from IIFPT have come up with novel food product formulations that have been packed with a range of indigenous foods.

“Breads, cookies, rusks and millet pops are being prepared on a daily basis at IIFPT’s HACCP and ISO Certified Food Processing Business Incubation Center (FPBIC) and are being supplied to the Medical College and Hospital,” the statement said.

The initiative kicked off on April 21 in the presence of the district collector and the Dean, TMC.

“Bread loaves are being enriched with dried moringa leaves, groundnut powder and whey protein to make up to around 9.8 per cent protein and 8.1 per cent fibre, apart from natural immunity-boosters like garlic, turmeric, ginger, pepper, and other spices,” it said.

Cookies have around 14.16 per cent protein and 8.71 per cent fibre, apart from the benefits of spice extracts.

With around 12.85 per cent protein and 10.61 per cent fibre, the rusks were equally good in terms of organoleptic attributes.

In addition, IIFPT also houses a FSSAI referral laboratory and the Department of Food Safety and Quality Testing is preparing hand sanitisers for the District Police Department and other officers who are involved in various duties.

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