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Report from an Indo-Danish workshop

A scientific collaboration organised by the Department of Food Science, Copenhagen University in association with Danish Ministry of External Affairs, Danish Ministry of Food and Environment, Danish Embassy in India and Indian Embassy in Denmark.

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A scientific workshop was organised on 6th and 7th of September the Department of Food Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The purpose of the workshop was to explore the possibilities for research collaboration and exchange of researchers and PhD students between India and Denmark in the area of dairy, food ingredients, and water in food manufacturing. The workshop was financially supported by Danish Ministry of Higher education and science. Participants from six Indian organisations were invited to Copenhagen to network with Danish partners. The organising committee consisted of Lilia Ahrné , Professor University of Copenhagen, Richard Ipsen Professor of university of Copenhagen and Sune Kaur-Pedersen, councellor, innovation and Research, Danish Embassy, New Delhi. All together there were 34 participants of which ten were from indian institutions like Anand agricultural university, Anand, Gujarat state, National Dairy Research institute, Karnal, Haryana State, Central Food Research Institute, Mysore Karnataka state, Mother dairy, delhi Others came from various Danish Institutions like University of Copenhagen, Danish technical university, Copenhagen, food companies like Arla Foods, Christian Hansen A/S Danish Innovation Fund, Foss. Professor emeritus Baboo Nair  the invitation to join in the workshop as a representative of SASNET-Lund University in general and SASNET Fermented Foods in particular. In addition to my active participation in the group work and the seminar, I also made a small presentation of the network SASNET- Fermented Foods and requested the participants to become members of the network and also send articles for publication in our journal International Journal of Fermented Foods.

ba2SASNET- Fermented Foods was established in the year 2003 following a similar workshop of Swedish and Indian researchers organised at Anand Agricultural University, Anand in Nov 2003, very much with the financial assistance from SASNET-Lund University. The First international conference and workshop on “Fermented Foods Health Status and social Wellbeing was organised in Nov 2003. In all 164 delegates participated in the programme representing different parts of India, Sweden, Denmark, SriLanka, Bagladesh, Nepal, USA, and Australia.   At the concluding session of the conference the participants resolved to form a network for promoting research and development in fermented foods.  Since then SASNET Fermented Foods have organised International seminars every second year mainly at Anand but also at Mysore, Gangtok and Karnal in India and once in Cairo, Egypt. The next international conference of Fermented Foods Health Status and Social wellbeing is planned to be organised at Anand Agricultural University, Anand in Dec 2019. The indo Danish workshop was conducted at the Copenhagen conference centre close to the Copenhagen railway station. Altogether there were about 20 presentations. The intention was to inform each other what kind of facilities are there in their institutions and what kind of research they are doing. After making the presentations the participants were divided into smaller groups for producing prospective proposals on collaborative projects.  My participation in these grouos was only as an observer. From AAU-Anand Agricultural University there were three participants, Dr. Jb Prajapati, ( Principal and Dean of Dairy Science faculty as well as the coordinator of SASNET –Fermented Foods)  Dr. Amit Patel Associate Professor of Dairy Process engineering, and Dr, Subrota Hati Associate professor of dairy microbiology and executive editor of International Journal of Fermented Foods.  Dr. Prajapati made two presentations, one on the research facilities available at AAU and the other on how organic load in the dairy waste can be reduced by using microorganisms, Dr. Amit Patel showed how dairy based ingredients can be produced for food industry. Dr. Subrota Hati made a very good presentation of Probiotic microorganisms in Functional Foods. Dr. R.R. B. Singh Director of NDRI-National dairy Research institute, Karnal and Dr. Latha Sabikhi  Head of the department of Dairy Technology. Described about ICAR-Indian Councul of Agricultural Research and the research facilities available for collaboration at their institute while Dr. Alok kumar Srivastava made a presentation on CFTRI-Central  Food Technological Research Institute which comes under CSIR-Council of Scientific  of India.  Mother Dairy from New Delhi was represented by Atanu Haldar and Barjinder Pal Kaur talked about studies on high pressure food processing being carried out at NIFTEM-National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries of the Government of India.  

During the year 2018 Demark have executed a three year agreement on research collaboration with India with a motto World class Food Innovation towards 2030. Major number of presentations were From Denmark. Some of them were very interesting to me. Like the potential of non-thermal processing methods like high pressure processing, membrane processing and processing with UVlight, pulsed electric fields, ultrasound etc in dairy industry presented by Lilia Ahrne, Professor Copenhagen University.  Richard Ipsen made a presentation on how food structure can be engineered using extracellular polysaccharides and nanotubes made of lactalbumin. Egon Bech Hansen of DTH made a presentation on technological problems in relation to processing camel milk in Ethiopia. It seems that the presentation of dennis Nielsen can be a basis for interaction between SASNET- Fermented Foods and his group working with characterisation of microflora on traditional foods. It is some thing which we have been talking for a long time among the scientists of SASNET- Fermented Foods with spcial interest to traditional fermented foods of India. Another interesting presentation was that of René Lametsch which was on proteomics and use of MS and bioinformatics for studying various proteins in food products. Finally there was a presentation from Danish innovation fund on how to make applications to get funds for research from them and what were the requirements for being eligible to get funds I wish to thank Professor Richard Ipsen for inviting me to the workshop and his generous hospitality during the two days. I made many new friends and I will take the opportunity to initiate at least two collaborative projects between Indian and Danish scientists with some room for food departments of Lund University. I also want to thank Dr. Andreas Johansson SASNET Lund University for his support not the least with travel money.  

26 Sept 2018, Lund, Sweden.

Baboo M. Nair,  Lund University, Sweden.

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