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Food technology used to be defined as a branch of food science that deals with the production processes that make food. Early scientific research into food technology concentrated on food preservation.
But if one looks at the current food tech scenario in India, it seems as if food technology begins after the food is prepared. We have made lists -- here and here – of more than 25 startups but all of the startups have to do with what happens after the food is made! Doesn’t that very factor remove the food bit from food-technology? Tracxn, a Bloomberg for startups, released a slideshow for food tech startups and this is how they look at the space:
Are we all missing the point? India is supposed to be a nation which heavily relies on agriculture and most of the efforts with respect to food technology are being put into what happens after the food is made!
I tried to look around and found a few very impressive initiatives globally:
Coming to India, there are initiatives like WIMWI Foods (IIM-Ahmedabad alumni startup which deals with Shiitake mushrooms but they only market and distribute the product), ChloroEarth (which makes wood) or Licor Armada (CIBA, Goa incubated company that deals with innovation in liquor). There are also educational institutes like Central Food Technology Research Institute which has listed a bunch of innovations but most of them remain in research papers.
It seems to be high time that the VC industry which seems to be funding every food delivery app wakes up to some real food technology being built in the nation. And on the other side, it would be refreshing to see ventures emerging that are dealing with the real food. But that’ll require time and heart, than just building an app.
These were the initiatives for this Monday, do drop in your comments as to what do you think about them and drop in your suggestions as to how we can make this column better.