IIT Kharagpur Researchers Receive Award for developing Novel Vegetable Oil to keep the Heart Healthy - Songoti

IIT Kharagpur Researchers Receive Award for developing Novel Vegetable Oil to keep the Heart Healthy

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 The Researchers from IIT Kharagpur have developed a vegetable oil powder to keep the heart healthy. The innovation led by Prof. Hari Niwas Mishra from the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering involved tailoring vegetable oils through preparation of oil blends which are inherently endowed with natural antioxidants as well as well-balanced fatty acids.

Oils vary significantly in their fat saturation. The healthiest are those containing mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are healthy for the heart. The role of such fats is widely known in reducing low density lipoprotein or harmful blood cholesterol. “The novelty of the research team is in its formulation of a nutritionally balanced polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) enriched with antioxidants and producing a synergistic vegetable oil blend,” explained Prof. Mishra, while deliberating on the new innovation.

The PUFA-rich oil powder will find extensive use in replacing dairy fat in bakeries and confectionaries; believe researchers Monalisha Pattnaik and Dr. Mousumi Ghosh from the Food Chemistry and Technology Laboratory run by Prof. H N Mishra. “There is already a shortage of dairy fat which can not only be compensated by this product but also have a healthy impact particularly mitigating heart related diseases on the consumers,” they pointed out.

Congratulating the researchers, Prof. Virendra Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur remarked, “Even after seven decades nutritious and healthy food are seen as lifestyle products due to the affordability and awareness. But with the holistic approach in the present scenario, we must remove this bias which is a toll on the health of millions in this country. This product answers this call by making available PUFA and antioxidant-rich vegetable oil for mass-scale consumption by large sections of the population, especially by the lower income groups, who are otherwise forced to buy oil with saturated fats.”

Another critical area the researchers have addressed is the susceptibility of PUFA-rich vegetable oil to rancidity and reduced shelf-life under severe environmental conditions. “We have developed a novel process to protect the lipids from oxidation by microencapsulating with appropriate materials,” said Prof. Mishra. The innovation has already been patented and is ready for commercialisation at low costs.

The researchers have received several awards for this product. A key among them is the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2020. Furthermore, this work has been recognized for Young Student Invention and best thesis work in IIT Kharagpur. The team is working incessantly towards providing low-cost healthy foods to a wider section of the society.

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