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Bridging the gap Between The Farmers And processors — Harinath Chowdary. P - Director, Vezby Nature Pvt. Ltd.

VezbyNature is a dynamic fruit-processing & vegetable-sourcing company, located in Bangalore, Karnataka. The core business of the company is processing & supplying Tropical and Exotic Fruit Purees/Pulps, Paste, Concentrates in aseptic, tin packaging. Also freshly grown vegetables and frozen fruits & vegetables under the technology of IQF.

As VezbyNature is one of the leading aseptic tropical fruit processors in South India, can you share the

overall scenario of the fruit-based beverage industry particularly in India?

India, with a population of more than 1.3 billion,having masses of mixed age groups, majorly young turks makes for a tremendous potential for Fast Moving Consumer Goods FMCG). The consumer’s spending capacity has also increased

remarkably in past few years and this glorifies fresh dimension of purchasing healthy juices, with high content of real fruit pulps, less sugar drinks, which eventually results to high consumption of healthy products.

Pandemic situations like Covid and other ones affected the consumers in terms of consumptions; otherwise it would have really flourished in the market.

However, CAGR of juice market in India is more than 18% consistently and even forecasted its growth to be more than 15% in coming few years; according to India Juice Market Outlook, 2021.

Fruit Based Beverage Industry Is All Set To Thrive — Srikant Davare, Director, Food System Asia, Pune

Food Systems Asia has always been committed to build a healthy feasible, lively and well-organized food processing industry that caters to the requirement of all part of society through secured, nourishing, easy to get and reasonably priced processed foods. Technology based price reengineering to reduce the cost of production & viewing the benefit of consumer with no worry about quality parameters is the ultimate goal.

Can you share the overall scenario of the fruit-based beverage industry particularly in India?

Fruit Based Beverage industry is very dynamic.

The processing industry in India is decentralized with wide capacities and it is continuously evolving, introducing new products with innovative packaging ideas, exotic fruits, different fruit and vegetable blends, organic and shelf-stable products in the market.

Owing to the increasing demand among the health-conscious consumer the industry is seeing a steady growth rate. Indian market is currently driven by rising awareness in consumers about the fruit content in juices and drinks, sugar levels, and additional functional benefits that the consumer is going to get from the beverage.

Fruit juices have made a place for themselves in Indian household menus – in breakfast, during family gatherings, parties and also evening snacks.

The industry will see exponential growth in the next few years.

Important Segments to Strengthen India’s F&V Industry (Part 1)

Fresh India Show 2020 - Global Virtual Conference was organized on 18th & 19th December by Media Today Group along with the support of Allround (India) Vegetable Processing Machines Pvt. Ltd. This is first part of the event and the subsequent parts of the event will be published in the upcoming issues of the magazine.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, a lot of queries about the safety of fresh Fruits and Vegetables have arisen.

Covid-19 has also added fuel to the retail segment, as bulk of the families started buying groceries via e-commerce platforms for the first time this year. Apart from increasing modern retail markets, the fastest upcoming segment in fresh retail sector is retailing through e-commerce delivery platforms that entered the Indian consumer markets chiefly NCR region of Delhi and other metros like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

In preceding months, primarily in India, the per capita consumption of different Fruits & Vegetables has increased between 15-25% and all through the lockdown period, the demand of frozen, cut & packed and beverages products has also gone up.

As per the trade sources, the supply of F&V products will

be rising further because the Indian growers are buying more planting materials of fresh produces like Banana, Strawberry, Blueberry, Citrus fruits, etc to cater to the rising demand. Investments from major corporate and big growers in hi-tech greenhouses & hydroponics concepts are also fueling the enlargement of horticulture industry in India which will interpret into additional value addition in coming years.

Considering the significance of this increasing sector, Media Today Group went digital with its "2nd Fresh India Show 2020 - Global Virtual Conference" held from 18th-19th December 2020. It was an elite platform intended to set up a gateway to F&V business sector in India and the entire Asian market.

The conference invited several prominent faces of the industry as its Guest Speakers/ panellists who elaborated their expert views.

The speakers included S. Jafar Naqvi, Chief Editor, Media Today Group; Gokul Patnaik, Chairman, Global AgriSystem Pvt. Ltd.; Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Commissioner Horticulture and Agriculture, Government of India; Dr. Sridhar Dharmapuri, Senior Food Safety & Nutrition Officer, FAO, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand; Dr. Azhar Pathan, Business Head Exports Banana, Mahindra Agri; Azhar Tambuwalla, Director - Marketing, Sahyadri Farms; Amit Gidwani, Director, G T Fruitech Pvt.

Ltd.; Sanjay Dave, Former Adviser in FSSAI, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Former Chairperson of Codex Alimentarius Commission; Pierre Escodo, Editor, Eurofresh Distribution Magazine; Ms. Maria CABALLERO, Policy Adviser on Agriculture, Fruit Vegetables EUROPE (EUCOFEL); Kenneth A Dcosta, Managing Director, Barakat Group; Amit

Lohani, Convener, FIFI; Rajesh Srivastava, Executive Chairman, Rabo Dequity Advisors; Bhupinder Singh, CEO, Vista Processed Foods Pvt. Ltd.; Ashu Phakey, Business Head - Frozen Foods, ITC Limited; Dr. Nitin Shankar Nagrale, CEO - India and Emerging Markets, Quality NZ &

Founder and General Secretary, Hotel Purchasing Managers' Forum (HPMF); Mihir Mohanta, G.M. (Supply Chain), Mother Dairy; Prof. Dr. Okan Ozkaya, Cukurova University, Agriculture Faculty, Horticulture Department Adana Turkey; Pawanexh Kohli, Former CEO & Chief Advisor, NCCD, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers' Welfare, GOI; Ms. Sehba Azhar, Founder, An Eye On (Brand Consultant); Maheshwar Dutt Sharma, CEO, Allround (India) Vegetable Processing

Machines Pvt. Ltd.; Rahul Sahai, Chairman, PHDCCI, Jammu region chapter; Arjimand Hussain, Founder, Ziraat Times; Maajid Wafai, President, Cold Storage Association of Kashmir; and Izhan Javeed, CEO, Fruit Master Agro Fresh Pvt. Ltd.

Incorporating Unhealthy Food into an Otherwise Healthy Diet Diminishes Positive Effects: Study

Eating a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, has a positive impact on health, but little is known about the effects of including unhealthy foods in an otherwise healthy diet. Now researchers have reported diminished benefits of a Mediterranean diet among those with a high frequency of eating unhealthy foods. The results of their study led by researchers from Rush University Medical Center were published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

"Eating a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruit, fish, and whole grains may positively affect a person's health," said Puja Agarwal, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College.

"But when it is combined with fried food, sweets, refined grains, red meat, and processed meat, we observed that the benefits of eating the Mediterranean part of the diet seem to be diminished."

A Mediterranean diet is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline in older adults. The observational study included 5,001 older adults living in Chicago who were part of the Chicago Health and Aging Project, an evaluation of cognitive health in adults over the age of 65 conducted from 1993 to 2012. Every three years, the study participants completed a cognitive assessment questionnaire that tested basic information-processing skills and memory, and they filled out a questionnaire about the frequency with which they consumed 144 food items.

The researchers analyzed how closely each of the study participants adhered to a Mediterranean diet, which includes daily consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, fish, potatoes, and unrefined cereals, plus moderate wine consumption.

They also assessed how much each participant followed a Western diet, which included fried foods, refined grains, sweets, red and processed meats, full-fat dairy products, and pizza. They assigned scores of zero to five for each food item to compile a total Mediterranean diet score for each participant along with a range from zero to 55.

The researchers then examined the association between Mediterranean diet scores and changes in participants' global cognitive function, episodic memory, and perceptual speed. Participants with slower cognitive decline over the years of follow-up were those

who adhered closest to the Mediterranean diet, along with limiting foods that are part of the Western diet, whereas participants who ate more of the Western diet had no beneficial effect of healthy food components in slowing cognitive decline.

There was no significant interaction between age, sex, race, or education and the association with cognitive decline in either high or low levels of Western diet foods. The study also included models for smoking status, body mass index, and other potential variables such as cardiovascular conditions, and findings remained the same.

"Western diets may adversely affect cognitive health," Agarwal said.

"Individuals who had a high Mediterranean diet score compared to those who had the lowest score were equivalent to being 5.8 years younger in age cognitively."

Agarwal said that the results complement other studies showing that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes and also support previous studies on Mediterranean diet and cognition. The study also notes that most of the dietary patterns that have shown improvement in cognitive function among older adults, including the Mediterranean, MIND, and DASH diets, have a unique scoring matrix based on the number of servings consumed for each diet component.

"The more we can incorporate green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, berries, olive oil, and fish into our diets, the better it is for our ageing brains and bodies. Other studies show that red and processed meat, fried food, and low whole grains intake are associated

with higher inflammation and faster cognitive decline in older ages," Agarwal said.

"To benefit from diets such as the Mediterranean diet, or MIND diet, we would have to limit our consumption of processed foods and other unhealthy foods such as fried foods and sweets." The study and its findings cannot be readily generalized. Future longitudinal studies on diet and cognition among the middle-aged population are needed to extend these findings.

F&B Industry Gaining Competencies — Amit Lohani Founder and Director Forum of Indian Food Importers

After three worst quarters ever for the Indian food and beverage sector, the sectorial economy is recovering from the pandemic-driven recession as well as a contraction in absolute terms. Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic topped with a lack of Government support for the F&B industry has devastated the hospitality sector to its brim. Similarly attributing to the global pandemic, supply chain capacity constraints, high tariffs, volatile currency exchange, changing regulatory environment, and unpredictable consumer reactions have continued to create roadblocks for sustenance in trade. The stakeholders have been taught with a No Carrot but a Stick to be self-reliant. Primarily the patrons are putting the brave foot forward, which is helping this vibrant sector and is also creating a narrow but, positive light.

iD Fresh Food Expands Instant Coffee Portfolio As Demand Rises Due To Work From Home

Azim Premji-backed iD Fresh Food, known for its idli-dosa batter, has expanded its coffee portfolio driven by surge in at-home consumption of the beverage amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The packaged foods company - which launched coffee blends in 2018 making its entry into the non-alcoholic beverage market-, has added variants of instant filter coffee liquids. With this, iD Fresh is targeting revenue of Rs 50 crore in the segment in the year 2021-22.

“When we launched filter coffee liquid two years ago, we were not sure whether consumers would be keen to make the switch from instant coffee powders to ready-to-use liquid in a pouch/sachet. Consumer response has been phenomenal, especially during the pandemic with more people working from – and drinking coffee at – home,” said Musthafa PC, cofounder of iD Fresh Food, said in a press statement. The new blends were concocted based on customer feedback and will be retailed on marketplaces and retail stores.

Important Segments to Strengthen India’s F&V Industry (Part 2)

Fresh India Show 2020 - Global Virtual Conference was organised on 18th & 19th December by Media Today Group along with the support of Allround (India) Vegetable Processing Machines Pvt. Ltd. This is first part of the event and the subsequent parts of the event will be published in the upcoming issues of the magazine.

J afar Naqvi continuing to the next session mentioned that the session will have four presentations. The presentations were on Post Covid European Union and Global Market Demands for Organic Fresh Produce and Retail by Pierre Escodo, Editor, Eurofresh Distribution Magazine; European Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Market: Trend, Consumption, Impact of Covid-19 & Challenges by Ms. Maria Caballero, Policy Advisor on Agriculture, Fruit Vegetables EUROPE (EUCOFEL); UAE Fresh Produce Import Trends and Opportunities in Expo Dubai by Kenneth A Dcosta, Managing Director, Barakat Group and International Fresh Trade Resonating with Ever Shifting Regulatory Environment by Amit Lohani, Convener, FIFI.

Naqvi stated that India is one of the biggest consumer bases and has one of the biggest vegetarian populations in the world. He said, “Very large population in India depends only on Fruits & Vegetables. They would like to have only fruits and vegetables and no meat, which means most part of the population will have nutrition from fruits, vegetables, and dairies. Consequently, India is an extremely potential market in terms of consumer trends, as the fresh produce consumption is increasing.

Certainly, it is incessantly growing up particularly after Covid. There were rumours, during the initial days of the pandemic, of something wrong with meat eating, which also lead to a huge demand for fresh produce.

EU and Global Market Demands for Organic Fresh Produce and Retail Escodo said that in Europe they can see a lasting trend of fresh fruits & vegetables consumption and companies specializing in organics. He said, “From preceding viewpoint, at the present, there is a huge rise in organics and certified products, which is giving a boost to other sustainable labels of products aside from organics. EU is alongside working on computation of the carbon footprint. Additionally, supermarket chains are also having higher sales, i.e., an increase of 20% on average in the first semester of this year. Retail sector is also expected to form a major volume share of the global market owing to the larger demand for fresh produce from the consumers.

Ensure Our Safety, Demand Delivery Boys of Food Firm

Delivery boys of an online food company, Zomato, raised slogans against the company for trying to fix duty hours for them and the

government for failing to protect them from robbers. They took out a motorcycle rally and passed through various parts of the city to

mobilize support. They said one of the delivery boys was recently attacked with a sharp-edged weapon on the elevated road and was robbed of his mobile phone and Rs.4,000.

They said two months ago, another delivery boy was robbed near Bhagtanwala Dana Mandi when he was returning home at night. They said delivery boys were vulnerable as everybody knew that they carried cash and owned expensive mobile phones. However, the reality was that they came from economically weaker families and had to commute from place to place for deliveries to earn a livelihood.

Big Changes @Bombay Canteen Opens After Eight Months

With Chef Thomas Zacharias moving on from his role as head of the iconic Mumbai restaurant, Chef Hussain Shahzad steps in to take it ahead in a post-covid world.

It is absolutely exhilarating and I am nervous, but more than nerves, I feel a sense of responsibility. I am aware that I will be carrying forward the legacy set by two people whom I have known and admired my whole cooking career: Chef Thomas, under whom I worked as sous chef at Bombay Canteen, and of course Chef Floyd, who was an absolute legend to all of us. But we are all bound by our core philosophy, so when people ask me about stepping into Chef Thomas’s role, I like to think of it as two people speaking the same language but in different voices.