With our growing population comes an increased global demand for food and feed ingredients. While we need to speed up our food production to feed coming generations, we are living with a huge paradox: tons of edible food are thrown away every single day, although we know that people are starving in other parts of the world. Food security is in many ways our most pressing challenge.
Fighting food loss and for developing the bio-economy were in focus when the Indo-Norwegian Re-FOOD project held its first annual symposium in Goa last week. Almost sixty researchers and industry representatives from Norway and India met to discuss the emerging challenges of sustainable food production and preservation.
Better cooling and storage of food, automatization of food production and the use of rest-raw materials for commercial purposes, are all topics that Re-FOOD works with. They also work with ways to recycle water and to save energy in food production to make the process more sustainable.
Some of the participants at the symposium in Goa.
Re-FOOD is an international partnership that focuses on bio-economy and sustainable utilization of food resources. The project is a cooperation between Norwegian partners SINTEF Ocean and NTNU, and Indian partners CSIR-CFTRI, IIT Kharagpur, Amity University and BITS Pilani. Re-FOOD also collaborates with other industry and governmental stakeholders in both countries, and is supported by Innovation Norway in India.
“The challenges related to food security and food chain are the same in India and Norway. The waste is the same. It is just the scale that is different. I believe it is possible to find projects and solutions with value for both countries” said Prof. Trygve Eikevik from NTNU in Norway.
In terms of feedback from the Indian side, Dr. Souvik Bhattacharyya from BITS Pilani, for instance, is quite confident that results coming out of this Indo-Norwegian collaboration can be immediately deployed by companies.
“And this is what this work is really about; finding solutions to some of the world global challenges, scientists and companies together so that we ensure that the solutions will be implemented” adds Dr. Marit Aursand, Senior Advisor at SINTEF Ocean.
The next symposium will be held in Mysore at the end of this year.
Read more about Re-Food here.