The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) plans to set up a food park in Mysore to provide a one-stop solution to food producers and manufacturers, said institute Director Ram Rajsekharan here on Monday.

The park will provide guidance, undertake analysis of food quality and explore the possibility of helping with licensing, he said at the Food Safety Forum 2013 meet, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development to create awareness on the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) – 2006. The sessions were on the Act and issues and challenges that the industry faces.

Working at it

“We are still working on the modalities of the park, which is expected to come up by the end of this year,” he said, adding that the food standards followed in India were mainly taken from standards set abroad that suit the Caucasian people and not that of Indians.

“These standards are not suitable for the Indian body structure and has to be changed,” he said.

The forum, comprising the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) and the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), will conduct seminars and talks for food traders and consumers on food safety issues in the coming days.

Information, statistics and implementation of the FSSA, cleanliness in small and medium restaurants, safety concerns for mass food preparation units such as Akshya Patra scheme, safety issues for street-food vending, safety issues in the food industry, production of ingredients, dairy, meat and bakery industries, were discussed.

Measures needed

Lalitha R. Gowda, Chief Scientist at CFTRI, said: “Because of the immense cultural diversity in the country, there is no one particular kind of food style that is accepted everywhere. Safety is the primary concern because of the changes in food style as a result of globalisation, increase in use of processed food and also an increase in consumer awareness.”

“Pesticides, toxic materials, drug residues, natural toxicants, additives and added colours are just a few of the invisible issues that cause harm through food materials. So safety measures should be taken not just by the industry but also by farmers and consumers,” she added.