Approximately 150 experts from across the country stressed on the need for more clinical trials in order to retain the credibility of fermented foods at the valedictory function of the two-day conference on fermented foods and their health benefits at the National Dairy Research Institute.
They also emphasized on the need for functional microorganism in fermented foods for boosting the sustainable development of food security in India, incorporation of ethnic fermented foods into academic programmes at masters and PhD levels in food and dairy sciences, more efforts to be done for developing value added probiotic dairy products for people of high altitude regions, including civilians and defence personnel, suitable packaging system for fermented dairy products for the benefit of Indian consumers, use of prebiotic as microencapsulating material for probiotics to ensure their effective delivery in human gut.
According to the news reported by Tribune News Service, Dr Rameshwar Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Bihar Animal Science University, Patna, said that the present trend indicated the attraction of consumer towards probiotic-based fermented dairy foods due to various perceived health effects of such bacterial cultures.
He maintained that at present many fermented dairy products were available with probiotic bacteria, but the dairy industry was dependent on supply of such cultures from overseas-based companies. In this regard, he lauded the efforts of the NDRI in developing indigenous probiotic cultures and transferring the technology to the industry.
Referring ‘dahi’ as one of the best fermented dairy food in India, Dr RRB Singh Director, NDRI, said that ‘dahi’ had been prepared at the household level in the country, but to prepare it in organised sector was a challenge which has been overcome by scientific input. The popularity of ‘dahi’ can be judged from the fact that at present the organised sector for ‘dahi’ was growing at the rate of 22 per cent.
At present, only 10 per cent of the market of fermented dairy products was in the organised sector and out of which 80 per cent market was being dominated by plain ‘dahi’.
The Director said innovations were required to make available more variants of ‘dahi’. The other fermented dairy products like cheese, ‘lassi’ and cultured butter milk were also growing at the rate of nearly 20 per cent. The low shelf-life of fermented dairy products was one of the challenges faced by the dairy industry and scientists at NDRI were working towards this.