Experts call for overcoming food losses

Published: April 2, 2017
Food insecurity casts pall of uncertainty in the province. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR/ FAIZAN DAWOOD

Food insecurity casts pall of uncertainty in the province. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR/ FAIZAN DAWOOD

FAISALABAD: Food experts at an international seminar on food process engineering, stressed for combine efforts to minimise growing food losses and wastage at different levels from farm gate to consumer’s table.

Addressing the inaugural session of the seminar University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan stressed the need for good food engineering in order to minimise the growing food losses. He said huge quantity of food was wasted due to mechanical issues in harvesting, handling, transportation, storage and even during the processing of packaging.

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“The country lacks facilities, knowledge and practice to preserve all perishable commodities including milk,” he said. He said food losses also exist in the US and other developed countries but they were not as high as compared to Pakistan.

He said the UAF experts have successfully introduced pasteurizer, chillers, and dryers by using solar technology keeping in view the energy issues in the country.

He expressed his dismay over lack of mechanical intervention in food harvesting, handling, storage and even safe transportation, adding that the microbial contaminate most of the perishable commodities due to various biological reasons.

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Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology Dean Dr Allah Bakhsh said food handling was a significant feature in agriculture sector and skill in dealing with agriculture produces at and off-farm gate was an uphill task. Speaking on the foodborne pathogens, Dr Haley F Oliver of Purdue University, USA, revealed that per capita food loss and waste was highest in Europe and North America

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2017.

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