How to make sure that the irresistible street food is also safe and hygienic? The Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has found an answer.
In an effort to empower street food vendors to deliver hygienic food, the premier institute has developed ‘SmartCart’, an energy-efficient solar-powered modular street vending cart.
Launched with the idea of giving strength to the Swachh Bharat mission, the ‘SmartCart’ has been developed to ensure enhanced hygiene in the street food arena with quality mobile infrastructure, which can be adopted pan-India for street food vending and preparation, according to the CFTRI. With wheels, the cart has ease of mobility and option of towing.
What drove the CFTRI to develop the eco-friendly cart? Doctoral students from the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), during a recent survey of street foods in Mysuru, found that the carts used by street vendors were inadequate in infrastructure and ergonomics. Inputs from around 200 street food vendors had been collected.
This prompted scientists at the institute to design and develop the model cart which, according to CFTRI, comes with features for “better hygiene, improved food safety, ease of operations and unique aesthetics.”
CFTRI Director Ram Rajashekaran told The Hindu that a few street food vendors had approached him evincing interest to adopt the cart for their operations. “The project is a joint venture by the CFTRI and an engineering startup company. Technology can be adopted or the cart can be ordered directly from the company. It costs between ₹50,000 (basic version) and ₹2 lakh,” he said.
The developers claim that the four-ft wide and six-ft long cart makes it easier to cook, hold and serve the food.