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Regional Research Lab team wins CSIR award

Our Bureau


The award-winning team of scientists from the Regional Research Laborotary - Thiruvananthapuram . (From left) Mr M.M. Sreekumar, Dr C. Arumughan and Ms B. Sankarikkutty.

Thiruvananthapuram , Sept. 24

THE Regional Research Laboratory - Thiruvananthapuram (RRL-T) has won the coveted Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Shield for Process technology for the year 2004.

The RRL-T team of scientists comprising Dr C. Arumughan, Mr M.M. Sreekumar and Ms B. Sankarikkutty was selected for the indigenously developed `Swing Technology' for processing fresh spices for flavour, oleoresin and active compounds.

The Union Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Kapil Sibal, will give away the award - a rolling shield, plaque, citation and a grant of Rs 30 lakh towards a specific project - to the RRL-T team in New Delhi on Sunday, September 26, the CSIR Foundation Day.

Announcing this, an RRL-T spokesman said here that this was the second national recognition within the last two years for RRL-T in the area of spice processing technology. The first one was the National Technology Day Award, 2003, for fresh ginger processing technology. The laboratory went on to commercialise the new technology for making food colours, spice flavours and extractions from fresh or dry spices and botanicals through Prudent Natural Products, a Hyderabad-based company.

This plant is designed in such a manner that it would be able to process both fresh and dry spices. Unlike the existing plants in the country that produce oleoresin from dry spice only, the new technology enables production of oleoresin with superior organoleptic qualities at lower cost of production. With the setting up of the plant in Hyderabad, the resources of the region - especially chilli, ginger and turmeric - are now converted to value-added products.

RRL-T, which has a mandate to work towards value addition of local resources, has developed several technologies with an intention to add value to the produce of the region. Originally developed with an eye on the Kerala entrepreneur, these technologies have, however, found markets elsewhere in the country.

RRL-T has set up commercial plants for the processing of ginger in Manipur and Meghalaya. The rice bran oil refining technology developed by the laboratory has been successfully implemented in five other States, the spokesman added.

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