Home Essay/Articles A Boost to Crop Processing Technology
A Boost to Crop Processing Technology
Sunday, 22 January 2012 06:44

Boost to Crop Processing Technology

Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology is a world class Research & Development and Educational Institution under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.  The Institute is located in a panoramic campus on the outskirts Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.  The Institute has its own origin way back in 1967 when it was started as a R&D laboratory to solve problems of high moisture paddy preservation.  This laboratory was later upgraded as a national laboratory with the name Paddy Processing Research Center (PPRC) in 1972.  Considering the vital importance of strengthening Research & Development efforts in post-harvest processing, preservation and value addition of raw agricultural produce, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries strengthened and upgraded PPRC as a National Institute and called it Indian Institute of CropProcessing Technology (IICPT) from February 2008.


The major activities of IICPT include -Conducting basic, applied and adoptive R&D in post harvest processing, preservation and value addition of food crops; HRD by offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in food process engineering and through short term training and non-formal courses in food processing technologies; Conducting outreach programs across the country to popularize food processing technologies; Offering consultancies for creation of new food industries or food testing laboratories; Information generation and flow on food processing technologies and to create linkages with related industries, academia and R&D Institutions across the country and around the world.


NABL Accredited Food Analysis Laboratory

IICPT laboratory is equipped with modern equipments to carryout physico-chemical analysis of food, water and organic matter samples.  It has hi-tech analytical instruments for analyzing moisture, fat, protein, fiber, FFA, peroxide value, mineral contents, toxin, pesticide residue, water and various other analyses.  Food samples from industries, academia and research student samples are analyzed at nominal charges.  Short term hands-on training on handling hi-tech analytical instruments is offered in this laboratory.

Food Product Development Laboratory

This laboratory of IICPT engages in development of innovative food products that have adequate nutritional and functional values.  Modern equipments including extruders, texture analyzers, RVA, milling machines and all accessories necessary for food product development are parts of this facility.  Industries with specific needs on novel food product development utilize the services of this facility effectively.

Food Processing Incubation cum Training Centre

IICPT has hi-tech and state of the art food processing business cum incubation cum training center which has the following product lines: Canning fruits and vegetables or meat and meat products; Ready to serve (RTS) or Ready to drink (RTD) fruit based beverages and jams and jelly manufacturing with bottling facility; Ready to cook (RTC) food products manufacturing; Instant mixes, masala and chutney powders production and sachet packaging; Ready to eat (RTE) extruded food products making; Specialized packaging section with facilities for ordinary packaging and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)

Hands-on-training on food processing technologies, renting and consultancy facilities and other technical supports are offered to help the entrepreneurs to invest on innovative ideas for the development of new products and business ventures in food processing.

Food Microbiology Laboratory

The Food Microbiology Laboratory has facilities for conducting research on studying the food-microbes interactions and predictive modeling, fermentation of foods, and identifying microbial spoilage mechanisms.  Short term training on food safety and food microbial aspects are given in this laboratory.

Engineering Laboratory

The ideas generated by other laboratories are given a shape in the Engineering Laboratory.  This laboratory consists of modern fabrication facilities with modern manufacturing machines and tools.  The engineering laboratory, independently or jointly with other laboratories, develop new machines for food processing businesses.

Village Adoption Program by Students

IICPT introduced experiential learning program to the under graduation students as a part of the B. Tech (FPE) curriculum.  This program involves student groups of 4 to 5, each adopting villages in different states of the country.  The students spend 6 to 10 days per semester in the villages.  During the visits the students not only look at the food processing scenario of the villages but also spend major parts of their time looking at the styles and difficulties of living in typical Indian villages, socioeconomic, demographic and educational status of the villages, water supply, drainage and transport systems, hygiene and social living conditions, agricultural production practices and the difficulties involved in it.  This program preparesstudents to become a complete person by learning firsthand the difficulties of Indian villagers living and farming conditions. Their views on the villages and villagers change and they tend to serve the community in more meaningful ways when they graduate.


The subjects of research problems that need to be addressed in food processing areas are vast and needs careful selection and approach.  IICPT focuses the research in major theme areas to address problems like: development of technologies for non-destructively grading, sorting and classification of fruits and vegetables, development of farm-gate technologies like washing and grading of fruits and vegetables; development of suitable on-farm grain driers; development of indigenous technology knowledge based food, composite grains foods, energy saving in parboiling, improving milling techniques of cereal grains, pulses, oil seeds and millets, food processing effluent treatment, creating ready to use dry mix fermented batter for idly and other Indian foods, new food product development based on grains, fruits and vegetables, fortification of processed foods for making health foods at affordable prices, development of new equipments for puffing, multipurpose yard drying, parboiling, for producing hand pound rice, reducing storage losses, economic utilization of biomass, food industries by-product  and waste utilization.

Outreach Programs

Bringing food processing technologies to stake holders and popularizing the benefits of career and business prospects in food processing are essential components of growth of food industries in the country.  These two areas are hitherto missed by most organizations in the country.  IICPT has aptly taken up this agenda in its activities.  Numerous outreach activities were conducted across the country at many places.  The total number of beneficiaries from these outreach activities are too many to count.

In the last 3+ years IICPT organized 33 National seminars and workshops, 3 International Seminars/Conferences and Workshops, 38 Food Processing Expos, and 442 training programs for farmers, women self help group members, rural youth and new and experienced entrepreneurs.  During this period IICPT also conducted 40 training programs on behalf of NIFTEM for school children to sensitize them on the values of venturing in food processing careers and 74 programs on behalf of NMPPB to educate butchers on hygienic slaughtering and handling of meat.

Consultancy Works

IICPT does consultation for food industries, academia and other organizations or individuals.  Following are some laboratories IICPT has created as a consultant for different organizations - A Meat Products Testing Laboratory was Created for NMPPB in New Delhi; A hitech Food Microbiology Laboratory for HI-RISE FOOD TECH LAB, Old Mahabalipuram Road near Chennai; and IICPT is now creating 14 teaching laboratories for NIFTEM at Kundli, Haryana.