Laiqh A Khan
DFRL develops them for soldiers posted at high altitude
`Trials on soldiers in base areas have yielded positive results' These toffees are yet to be introduced in ration
MYSORE: Indian soldiers posted for duty at high altitudes need not worry about losing their appetite and weight any more. The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore, has come out with toffees and beverage powder that trigger their appetite and helps them relish the food served.
DFRL Director A.S. Bawa told The Hindu that the spices-based toffees and beverage powder recently developed by researchers at the laboratory could effectively counter the appetite woes of soldiers posted at high altitudes.
"These soldiers normally suffer from poor appetite. Spices are known to trigger appetite. We have developed toffees and beverage powder made out of spices like ginger, jeera and pepper to increase the appetite of soldiers," he said.
Trials carried out on soldiers in base areas as well as high altitudes had yielded "positive" results, Dr. Bawa said.
But the appetisers were yet to be inducted into the service ration provided to soldiers.
The spices-based toffees and beverage powder could be regularly provided to soldiers only after the Ministry of Defence and Army headquarters included it in the ration supplied to Indian soldiers.
Dr. Bawa said DFRL had developed cereal-based semi-solid food products suitable for consumption in high altitudes.
The other significant food product developed by DFRL is an "electrolyte drink" meant for soldiers posted for duty in desert areas. The electrolyte drink would help maintain the level of body fluids that were lost at a faster pace in deserts through secretions such as sweating and diarrhoea.
Dr. Bawa said DFRL was ready to transfer the technology behind the development of appetiser and a host of other food process technologies for commercial exploitation to private entrepreneurs.
A host of rice-based recipes developed by DFRL were sought after by private entrepreneurs for exploitation in civilian market.
A number of inquiries had been received for instant khichdi, instant vegetable pulao and instant bisibele baath.
Although the laboratory had developed instant basmati rice, there was not much response for food product yet, he said. Explaining the procedure behind the rice-based instant food products, Dr. Bawa said the rice was pre-cooked, processed and dried.
Keeping in mind the popularity of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products in civilian market, the laboratory had evolved a simple scheme for the transfer of know-how of these products for the benefit of entrepreneurs.
As part of the National Technology Day, DFRL had arranged an exhibition of products and processes developed by it at its premises in Mysore on Friday.