The changed socio-economic scenario of the country has resulted in increased demand for processed foods. Increased agricultural production, higher disposable incomes, trade liberalization and the preference of women for jobs in government/ private sector, are some of the factors which contribute to rapid growth of food industry in India. The rising consumer awareness and expectations and stringent quality requirements from the hygiene and safety point of view, has compelled academic instructions and R&D organizations to restructure their research and academic programmes to meet the ever changing requirements of food industry. Though India has made a remarkable progress in production of foods after independence but the performance of the country is below satisfaction with respect to processing of foods and their value addition. We have a rich diversity of traditional foods but their processing & production has remained confined to unorganized sector. Lack of meaningful efforts by R&D institutions, to make production & processing of traditional foods an economically viable activity, has hampered their growth.
The state of J&K has kept pace with rest of country in its progress for food production and has achieved a special status on the horticultural map of country. But a significant quantum of our fruit/vegetable production is wasted every year due to lack of processing, handling and storage facilities. Even the produce that reaches the terminal markets looses many of its quality attributes during transit and results in heavy loss to producers. The aforementioned scenario necessitates the need for skilled and trained manpower to face these challenges. In view of its social commitment, the University of Kashmir felt the need to generate trained manpower for food industry and created a Department of Food Science and Technology. Though the department will impact education in all segments of food industry but the research programmes will be structured keeping our local food resources under consideration. The course curriculum will be reviewed and tailored periodically as per the needs of industry. Students and scholars will be involved in developing close linkages between the institution and the industry. Every legitimate effort will be made to bring about academic and intellectual upgradation of the students so that they can contribute to achieve food security.
I wish excellence to all our students in their academic pursuits.
Prof. F A Masoodi
Food Science & Technology
Prof. F. A. Masoodi