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Kolkata: The Tea Board of India has issued a circular, directing all tea manufacturing units in the country "to strictly comply with the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) norms and get their end product tested in any NABL-accredited lab" to ensure that the quality of brew sold in India and exported abroad is never compromised.

The Tea Board circular adds: "The test reports should also be submitted to the Board's zonal office for our information...however, all manufacturing units (both estate factories and bought-leaf factories) are hereby informed that Tea Board Quality Control Laboratory has received NABL accreditation..."

A top Tea Board official reasoned that the circular is needed owing to the continuous revision of the FSSAI Act, 2006, and its amendments in 2018. "As more chemicals and new parameters have been included under the FSSAI Act, our duty was to inform and educate the existing as well as new players in the tea production business," added the Board official. The FSSAI test for the tea sector includes pesticide residue and heavy metal analysis.

Though small tea growers, who are always criticized for low quality control of their produce, do not come under the purview of FSSAI as primary producers.

The small tea growers' (STG) body, Cista, welcomed the latest Tea Board circular for compulsory testing of tea for twice a year. Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty, president, Cista, said: "STGs should also strictly follow FSSAI and Plant Protection Code (PPC). We have to ensure our customers that we are producing clean, pure and environment-friendly tea. We have already requested Tea Board to reach out to everybody for training-cum-awareness campaign at the grassroot level."

The Indian Tea Association (ITA), the premier tea producersí body, claimed that all its member-producers have always complied with FSSAI testing norms. "However, the Tea Boardís initiative is commendable as it would make the buyers more confident about Indian tea."

The Tea Board is also organizing a 'Young Entrepreneurs' Meet' for drawing a future roadmap for the morning beverage on April 24. The meet will discuss the steps "needed to be taken to bring quality produce to the market and discouraging the rampant production, sales, export and marketing of low quality tea.

30 Jul
Bakery Industry in India : A Makeover Phase has just arrived!

Hitesh Tripathi, CEO Tech4serve Project Consultants LLP

First of all, I would like to bring your attention to the fact, how we have grown in bakery industry in the last 25-30 years.
In terms of machines, we were initially being using wood fired /coal fired ovens which later developed into deck ovens, swing tray ovens, rotary ovens and tunnel ovens. This has improved the product consistency and production capacity. It has eased the art of baking to manifolds
Mixing technology has evolved from manual mixing to slow speed and then to high speed. This has reduced the mixing time significantly. We have more uniform mixing and hygienic operation. Despite the mechanical shock we are able to deliver much better results.
Water being one of the major contributing factor in the product quality, we had to take care of the water treatment systems and water temperature. So we introduced water chiller systems & RO systems and softeners to improve quality and safety.
Dough handling was improved from open air proofing to proofing chamber with controlled temperature and humidity. The production could be streamlined due to this and losses were reduced drastically
We added emulsifiers, stabilizers leavening agents and other dough improvers to ensure better product quality and consistency. This step also was revolutionary as our loaf size started increasing and weight started reducing! Hence profitability of course.
In terms of baking pans and moulds we were using tin mould initially, then we moved to galvanised steel and now the latest technology of Teflon coated moulds has come which removes requirement of oil application on moulds. The hygiene in the plant increases and uniform baking is observed in a cost effective manner.
Packaging from butter paper has moved to PP bags and now to BOPP and laminates.
This is how we have grown, but still we have a lot of scope to grow as an industry. We realize this when we go to international markets and exhibitions and see the technology, machines, packaging, product there.
Need of the hour in terms of upgradation bakery industry.
- PROCESS AND CONTROLS Better process & control. Bakery industry is experiencing issues in terms of automation, better monitoring & ERP systems. Strict recipe controls, reduction of man-made losses will help us increase productivity and profitability.
-LABOR LAWS We have to inculcate better labour handling policies and to develop better labour laws. So that the industry grows as an organized industry.
- PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT Better product development would be another key to guide how we develop and grow. As a policy we should ensure that we deliver a safe, hygienic and better product to the customer to retain them and develop their confidence and loyalty.
-PACKAGING A lot has already been done but a lot can still be done.
- DEVELOPMENT OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR we as the part of the industry and manufacturing fraternity have to groom and train our consumers as well. On which product is better, how
to handle the product, and why an expensive product is not necessarily good and vice versa, premium product & low cost product differentiators. Quality norms, Safe and unsafe ingredients etc.
-HEALTHY COMPETITION as an industry we also have to adopt healthy competition among ourselves so that we donít use unhealthy practices and hence bring an international acclaim for ourselves and the country.

03 Aug
Cold Chain Infrastructure

By Naema Miftah & Tech4Serve

"Cold chain is a temperature controlled supply chain. It is an unbroken, uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range."
Cold chain infrastructure is of importance to countries where storage and processing are unable to match up to the production levels. This is because if adequate and sufficient conditions are not provided to the produce then the crop would be rendered useless in a very short span of time. Also, the spoilage rate is enhanced and the shelf life drastically reduced thereby labeling it unfit for consumption. Apart from these, a specified and organized cold chain infrastructure has the following advantages:
- Decreased rate of spoilage
-Increased shelf life
- Availability of food produce throughout the year
- Increase in global trade as food produced at one place can travel without any spoilage inhibition
- Increased processing capabilities
- Storage of processed food
- Balanced process throughout the year
Apart from these they have indirect economic benefits to both the producers and processors. Also, the consumers enjoy better palatability and variety.
India is a leading producer in the world for various agricultural products. However, its contribution in the world trade still remains paltry.
India has a remarkable production of crops and other food commodities. However, its participation is questionable and not proportionate. This can be attributed to the huge post harvest losses that the country has been suffering due to poor storage capacities. Food has a reduced shelf life as the apt storage conditions are not maintained and hence it continues to bring woes to the Indian Economy.
According to a study, India's post harvest losses for Fruits and Vegetables stood at a stalling -15.9.
- 11% of the world's horticulture, i.e., 280.4 million MT per annum is produced in India. However, its share in the global trade is -1.7%.
- India produced ~ 146.3 million tones of milk in the year 2015-16 but cold storage capacities are available for only 31.8 million tones.
- Over 28% fish produced annually is wasted in India due to spoilage.
- Also, the abattoirs lack proper chilling centres making the Indian population vulnerable to various life threatening diseases.
-Apart from these the Retail and Food service industry in India will require over and additional of INR 33 million tons to be added in the next 4 years.
Most of these are due to the failed maintenance of a unified temperature-controlled infrastructure. In the absence of these the root causes of spoilage of food are:
- Microbiological
- Physical
- Rodents
- Physiochemical changes encountered by the food product
Cold chain not only boosts the storage of food grains but also enhances the shelf life of various sea produce, horticulture products, dairy products and processed food. However, if the shelf life of the produce is increased then eventually it paves way for the development of the Food Industry as the stored food can be made available throughout the year thereby promoting processing.
These can be minimized or removed by the implementation of cold stores. This is where a proper and planned cold chain infrastructure comes into play. India's cold chain industry can be broadly categorized into
The sector is largely unorganized with paltry organized players. Despite of the impressive growth scales in the sector and the special emphasis given to it owing to the great losses suffered it has failed to attract many big players.
The Indian Cold Chain Industry has a CAGR of % and expected to reach a market size of over INR 557 Billion in the next few years. The government has recently expressed deep concern due to the rising concerns over post harvest losses and the sector falling behind the expected growth rates due to improper storage.
The target estimates have been made, keeping in mind, increased investments, modernization of increased facilities and establishment of new partnerships and ventures. According to industry estimates, the transport of perishable products is more 120 million metric tons each year. However, the cold chain system is barely used. Milk and milk products still remain the highest consumers of the cold chain infrastructure in India.
The commencement of cold chain in India could be traced back to 1892 in Kolkata. However, proper development of the industry sped up only post Independence with the "Cold store Order" in 1964. However, it has been only after regulation in 1997 that there has been an exponential growth noticed in the sector.

25 Sep

Mr. Hitesh Tripathi , M/s. Rinni Maheshwari

Returning from office, Vikram, an IT consultant, due to his extended hours at workplace is not perturbed by the fact that all the nearby dining places and eateries would be closed for the day by the time he de-boards the metro. All he cares is for the remaining data of his daily internet consumption limit which would help him place an order for his dinner. This has been his algorithm to get food at doorstep even at odd hours of the day lately.
The mobile data acts as a savior to Vikram, with which he orders dinner from himself which has often reached his place while he is just strolling by the dogs in his street. Millennials nowadays, like Vikram, are blessed with these omni present mobile food delivery options. This new business trend in the food markets has completely eroded the dependency of the eateries and food stores which have been the prime source of serving self with food when it comes to eating something apart from homemade food.
With the advent of modern-day technology, e-commerce is on a boom in the country. Dining and restaurants are one among the long list of business verticals impacted by the surge in the digitization of the businesses. Food is just a touch away.
With a mobile phone on your palm, you can serve yourselves with a varied list of cuisines available in the restaurants and food courts in your locality at home. Making food delivery apps the fastest e-commerce market in the world, we are witnessing a heavy fountain of online food and delivery restaurant and companies, which may lead ahead of 2.7 billion by the end of 2019. Making it a noticeable activity, recent research came in light that during lunch hours, cafes and restaurants are relatively empty but sales are better than before. There is an indirect proportionality recorded in the footfall in the food courts against the orders placed. The app-based food delivery has completely changed the equation that prevailed in the food market. That is what we will discuss in the article for today, Impact of App-based Food Delivery apps on the traditional food business.
The Success.
The success of food delivery tech start-ups like Uber Eats, Zomato and Swiggy have caused a significant change in the ideology of food chains when it comes to business. These delivery applications are basically acting as a middle layer between the food providers and consumers. The consumers can order food through the applications on the food providers registered with the respective application. The food is then delivered to the consumer at the provided address by the delivery personnel employed by the food delivery application. The application thus charges a certain amount of commission or fee for acting as the middle layer between the two entities i.e. the food provider and the consumer.
Food chains earlier operating upon the traditional business model are now re-visiting their business style focusing more on delivery operations rather than the dine-in chores. These food chains are either venturing into the delivery-based model of business or reaching out to organizations like Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats etc. which are working as a middle layer between the end customer and food suppliers. As per research, food delivery applications have seen a rise of up to 380 percent as compared to the last three years, which may grow by the end of this year.

Longer Travel Time: Working professionals have to spend a good amount of time travelling from home to work and back. Even working in normal day shifts people often reach home late, exhausted to work their way to the kitchen and prepare meals for themselves.
Dual-Income Couples: Increased cost of living and higher aspirations have enabled the ideology of working couples. This also acts as a factor in supporting the flourishing of this delivery-based model. Door-step delivery of food turns out to be a luxury for the working professionals on returning exhausted from work.
High Footfall in the Dine-in stores:
Long queues at food outlets and food courts have led to increased turn-around time. People thus have started to prefer to stay inside and get food delivered at door-step if there only purpose to go out is to have food. People enjoy the cuisines of their choice at home with utmost comfort.
Bringing you some new landscape of how these online businesses are flourishing in the traditional market. We've collected a few information, which might force you to ponder on it.
Quality comes fast:
Being brought or easy delivery was considered as one of the unhealthy and unhygienic placements. But with time and technology advancement, the growth of food delivered at your door-step tastes similar as you would enjoy at a fine-sitting restaurant. Such platforms force the small and quaint cafes to come on the boat and let the lazy hommies enjoy their meal in their bed with utmost purity.
Prime options:
Being brought to us the options of serving at our doorstep via these middle layers of food applications, Zomato, Swiggy, Uber Eats and few more, are just choices presented to us. Be it choosing from Chinese to Japanese to Afghani to burgers and pizzas, there are endless alternatives available via traditional food delivery apps. It's easy and affordable.
Gone are those days when working till late and returning home would serve you just a left-over piece of bread and half a cup of juice. The growth of the new food delivery platforms is totally a survival for the new generation. This whole new venture of delivery is welcoming countless restaurants and customers, the same. Be it a huge order for your lunch or just a sandwich for brunch, the food applications let you eat even if it is small untimed hunger.
Business for survival:
Say it force or a market, with time there's a huge demand for restaurants to come on the ground and compete. Not every cafe or din-in-restaurant needs to jump in this business, but indeed, sooner they'll all have to. Now they will all have to start re-thinking on building the new strategy to sustain in the market. As there are multiple food chains already sustaining in the market without offering food delivery to their customers, but bet me, they are soon joining to jump in the well of opportunities and profits it may offer to the food companies.
Being directly connected with food, we humans' hold an emotional relationship with it. Sharing food post is also a kind of activity our generation has generated. Sharing the experiences via the mode of photographs posted by them on their social media handles by ordering food from new restaurant and cafes is a new profession coming in light. With so much of love for food, there are approximately 17, 365, 53, 39 posts with the hashtag of food (#food). Being totally unaware of what a person sitting next to you is eating is absolutely normal, but if you are unaware of what your friends in another land are having for lunch, can be a matter of concern. With so many food photographs floating on social media, it directly ties our heart, mind and of course , our taste-buds.
Not everyone with growing demand, lip-smacking photos on social media would win the race, but you need to be smart, quick, up-to-date, hold on brilliant chefs, a hand full of helpers, comparative price, a good source of resources, and a great team of members will help you sail in the sea. With the rapidly fast-moving technology, people want food as soon as they order.
The impact this model of 'virtual-kitchen' has caused in the traditional business can be bifurcated to the existing businesses and the new ventures. For the existing restaurateurs, it has been a complete revamp. From striking a balance between the conventional dine-in and delivery operations to revamping the in-house teams to work simultaneously in these models, it has been quite a challenge.
The existing spaces in the outlets have to be refurbished to support concurrent operations of preparing the orders for the outlets and home-deliveries. The dine-in area in the brick and mortar outlet are trimmed so as to provide more space for the two teams working together. The chefs and staff are to be equally equipped in managing the operation tasks along with the gourmet expertise expected out of them.
Restaurateurs, although a bit reluctant to join this segment, have to participate and perform so as to be in the charts. Ironically, the outlets have to cater to both models to keep the ball rolling as the middle layer firms have been reported to charge heavy commissions for their services.
For those ushering into the food business, the road map is a bit clear as they have the experience of the existing players to learn from and implement. They have a clear option to start the dual game or stick to the delivery-based model only. Sticking to the latter saves them the huge capital that is otherwise required to come up with a fancy outlet and maintain it. These funds can be then utilized in improving the level of the other supporting operations like the in-house app to avoid the commission of the middle layer. Recruiting the staff as per the cuisines catered to can be planned accordingly.
This shift in the way of conducting food business has sown the seeds of unhealthy competition in the market. Falsifying the fundamentals of business, in order to attract consumers, restaurateurs have started to offer heavy discounts and cashbacks on their delivery orders .This juggernaut has caused a chaos in the market leading to which restaurateurs have to venture in this space just to ensure that they are in the charts.
The dual income couple trend and the nuclear family setup is on the rise even in the Indian context which has caused massive changes in the day-to-day lives of the people. The demographic breakdown and the inclination of people towards corporate jobs have initiated a domino-effect situation which is seen as an opportunity of starting new ways of businesses. Together with modernization, digital evolution is seen as a platform serving innovations in all the streams linked to daily consumer behavior like shopping, dining, and daily chores, etc.
The change in the lifestyles of the millennial has proved to be the inevitable reason for the paradigm shift in the food business. The influx of working professionals in the metros along with an increase in the number of women at work are the pillars of this rapid change in this everlasting industry. There is a huge potential of growth in this sector as ready-to-eat and cheaper food items are what this trending business model has in offer for the consumers.
Change has indeed been the constant that the human race has witnessed. We have traversed from hunting animals and living in the woods to raising live stocks and growing food. Food has still been the essentials for life and will continue do to so. Businesses have to dwell upon this perennial fact in future. Vikram, the ideal consumer of today, has got options like never before. He would be easily swayed away by other market player having new appeasing offers. Thus, like always, key market players have to be abreast with the trends, maintaining their place value, to prosper in the disruptive changes to follow.

25 Sep

Mr. Hitesh Tripathi ,M/s. Vibhuti Mittal

We all need protein in our diet for proper functioning of our body. Various protein-rich foods are recently launched in market for attracting customers but when someone talks about gluten, it is assumed to be an enemy of human being. There is a demand of gluten free products in Indian market and various products have already been launched in marketclaiming 'Gluten-Free'.
What is Gluten? Is it really harmful and should be avoided in diet? Is there any study conducted to analyze the harmful effects of gluten in human body?
Well, gluten is a protein, divided into two fractions depending upon its solubility in alcohol (60-80% strength in water), gluten in (alcohol insoluble) and gliadin (alcohol soluble). It's found in wheat and other wheat related cereal species such as barley, oats, rye, etc. It's an important component in manufacturing of bread, crackers where highly elastic dough is required. From industry point of view, gluten possesses unique baking qualities due to its water absorption capacity, viscosity, cohesiveness and elasticity in dough which make it easy for food manufacturer to design many products.
When human beings ingest gluten, it gets digested in gastrointestinal tract of healthy human beings. Although there are several studies (in vitro) related to partial metabolism of gluten in human gastrointestinal system, there is no exact proof of fate of gluten in human digestive system due to lack of in vivo studies. In vitro studies has suggested that gluten peptides are resistant to digestion by human digestive protease and brush border membrane protease due to presence of high proline content which cause high molecular weight oligosaccharide in lumen of small intestine. It has been assumed that stomach micro biota has major role in gluten metabolism but studies related to stomach micro flora are not well-known.
The reason behind origin of gluten free products is a genetic disease, known as celiac disease. Celiac is an auto-immune disease which directly harms the inner lining of small intestine when person consumes gluten. The component which is responsible for the harmful effect of gluten in celiac person is gliadin. When a celiac person consumes gluten containing diet, immune system starts to work against gliadin which cause harm to the micro- projections of small intestine, called villi, which are responsible for the nutrient absorption. So gluten avoidance is only remaining option in that situation to save the small intestine lining and absorption of other nutrients.
Beyond celiac disease, there are some people who have allergy to the gluten but has no effect on small intestine. There were many studies carried out to understand the exact reason behind this. One of the studies indicates that the real culprit in non-celiac people is fructan. Fructans are complex carbohydrates, polymers of fructose, which are fermented in our large intestine, sometimes cause bloating and diarrhea. People who consume wheat and similar grains may feel bloating and nausea kind of symptoms which are not due to gluten intolerance rather due to fructans present in wheat. Moreover, wheat has some amylase inhibitors which sometimes contribute to the symptoms similar to gluten sensitivity.
If we analyze current scenario, market is flooded with gluten-free products and health practitioners are convincing people to adopt gluten free diet Irrespective of their relation with celiac or gluten sensitivity. Nutritional value of gluten free products is less whereas price is high which may be another reason of promoting gluten free diet.
-Such kind of promotion is not bene?cial for long term health rather they cause various harmful effects on human health such as:
-Non-celiac person when decrease the consumption of Gluten-containing products, unknowingly consumption of whole grains also get decrease which can deprive person from various micro present in wheat and similar grains such as B-complex Vitamins, Zinc, Magnesium, etc. which are essential for proper functioning of enzymes involved in body metabolism.
- As per American Heart Association (2017), a study was conducted over 199,794 subjects for 30 years to analyze the long term impact of going gluten free which indicated that people who consume less gluten in their diet are prone to type II diabetes as compared to those who intake sufficient quantity of gluten.
-Another study conducted at Harvard School of Public Health indicates the increase in risk of coronary heart disease among non-celiac person who adopt gluten free diet.
-Long term gluten free diet also increases the risk of colorectal cancer in humans. Another study at Europe indicates that current gluten free product formulations are not healthy and increase the risk of obesity. These formulations are generally high in lipids & saturated fat and low in proteins & fibers which cause various side effects in humans.
- As per one of the short term study published by US national library of medicine, gluten free diet along with consumption of significant amount of fish and rice lead to accumulation of heavy metals such as arsenic ,mercury, lead, cadmium and cobalt in human body. However, study of long term impact of such conditions is not conducted yet.
-Despite of all these studies, there is an increase in market of gluten free products (approx 135% growth) from 2013-2015 which is assumed to be due to number of celiac person in India which is around 6-8million (around 1 in 100 is celiac in India). But other main cause of this growth is the consumption of gluten free products by non-celiac people, considering it more nutritious and healthier option.
-Unfortunately, no study is published till now to demonstrate the beneficial effect of gluten-free diet over gluten-containing diet for non-celiac person. However, consumption of such type of diet can cause obesity and other metabolic syndrome due to reduced consumption of whole grains.