Calibration Measurement and Monitoring of Equipment

Instrument calibration are an integral part of any operation in manufacturing facilities and testing laboratory. They are vital for data quality assurance.

In this video lecture, Veena Mishra (Process Engineer) at PMG Engineering outlines the basic requirements for the calibration and monitoring instruments based primarily on standard monitoring methods.

Processing of Edible Vegetable Oils

Oils of plant origin have been predominantly used for food-based applications. Plant oils not only represent a non-polluting renewable resource but also provide a wide diversity in fatty acids (FAs) composition with diverse applications. Besides being edible, they are now increasingly being used in industrial applications such as paints, lubricants, soaps, biofuels etc. In addition, plants can be engineered to produce fatty acids which are nutritionally beneficial to human health.

Vegetable edible oil refers to oil obtained from oilseeds and nuts through an extraction process. It can be extracted from various oil seeds such as mustard, coconut, soybean, peanut, rapeseed, cottonseed, sesame, etc. via pressing process. Plant based extracted oils are generally used for salad dressing, deep fat frying and pan frying.

Until the industrial revolution in the 19th century, rapeseed, linseed, olives, and nuts were the primary sources of vegetable oils. Today, the world market is dominated by palm and soybean oil, followed by rapeseed and sunflower oil. This has led to a change in the extraction and purification/modification processes. Originally, the oil extraction process consisted of cleaning, crushing, heating, and pressing only. But from 1900 onwards, solvent extraction was applied to recover the residual oil from the pressed cake or to replace the pressing process completely (e.g., for soybean oil). At the same time, the oil purification process changed from a simple decanting and filtration to a combination of neutralization with caustic, bleaching with active clay and deodorization at high temperature under vacuum with steam.

Commercial Process of Manufacturing Edible Vegetable Oil

In a typical edible oil processing plant oil is extracted from the seed first using mechanical extraction (expeller press) process followed by chemical extraction (hexane extraction) process. By using both methods less than 1% of the oil is left in the meal. Then the left out residual meal is sold as an animal feed raw material. Following are the steps involved for the processing of vegetable oil:

Step 1: Harvesting of Oil Seeds

Seed is planted and harvested as with any other crop. This is followed by the cleaning process, which removes unwanted materials such as soil and other seeds from the harvest. In some cases, it is preferable to shell the seed, removing hulls for a better-quality final product.

Step 2: Processing

At this point, if the seed is large, the seed is crushed or broken up into smaller pieces. These uniform pieces are then conditioned by heating before being pressed for oil. The two products of this process are the raw pressed oil and the press cake, which is the compressed dry material of the seed. The raw oil is filtered before moving on to the final steps.

Step 3: Solvent Extraction

Pressed cake is flaked and broken down for additional oil extraction. The flakes are ground up and mixed with hexane to produce a slurry, which is heated. During heating, the hexane evaporates, and is collected for further use. While being heated, the meal releases the remaining oil, which is mixed with a small amount of hexane that did not evaporate.

Step 4: Refining

It is a combination of the following process steps for producing an edible oil with characteristics that consumers desire such as bland flavor and odor, clear appearance, light color, stability to oxidation and suitability for frying:

  1. Degumming: A pretreatment process applied to seed oils to reduce the phosphorus content. It is a two-step process with addition of water and/or acid to hydrate phospholipids. The phospholipids are subsequently removed by centrifugation.
  2. Neutralization: The purpose of neutralization is to reduce the concentration of free fatty acids to a maximum of 0.10% with the use of a diluted alkali solution, typically sodium hydroxide. This process can be applied batch-wise in stirred vessels and continuously by means of centrifuges. After alkali treatment, the oil is washed with hot water or treated with silica to reduce the residual soap level in the neutralized oil.
  3. Bleaching: The main purpose is to remove residual soap, pigments, and oxidized components. In this process, bleaching earth (activated clay and/or silica) is added to the oil as absorbent. The earth and absorbed impurities are subsequently removed by filtration. Addition of activated carbon in the bleaching process will also reduce the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon level. An acid pretreatment before bleaching earth addition will improve the removal of phosphorous (max 30ppm) and/or metals during the bleaching process.
  4. Deodorization: Under high vacuum the oil is heated to 180–240°C and brought in contact with stripping steam to remove volatile components and to create an odorless oil with a bland taste and increased storage stability. Also, free fatty acids can be removed during deodorization, at increased temperatures (220–270°C).

The process sequence of combined degumming/neutralization followed by bleaching and deodorization is called chemical refining, referring to the chemical removal of free fatty acids. The process sequence of degumming followed by bleaching with acid pretreatment and deodorization at high temperature is called physical refining, referring to the physical removal of free fatty acids (stripping). The physical refining process is generally preferred for low phosphorous oils (acid degummed seed oils and tropical oils) due to lower oil losses and less liquid effluent production.

Industry can design almost any fat or oil for a specific application by the use of various modification processes, such as hydrogenation, interesterification, fractionation or blending. Hydrogenation typically reduces essential fatty acid content and creates various fatty acid isomers, both cis and trans. The wide flexibility available to industry through the selection of raw materials and different modification processes allows for the production of oils at the lowest cost possible, an important aspect of food production.



Biscuit Manufacturing Industry

The word “biscuit” is derived from the Latin panis biscoctus, “twice-baked bread”. Biscuit- covers a wide range of flour baked products, though it is generally an unleavened cake or bread, crisp and dry in nature, and in a small, thin, and flat shape. Biscuits have evolved from different aspects of baking practices such as tarts, pastries, short cakes, and sugar confectionery. They have given rise to the wafer, macaroon, cracker, sandwich, snap, gingerbread, honey cake, rusk, and water biscuit. Biscuits are divided into two main groups. The first are plain or have a savory flavoring. The second type are sweet or semi-sweet in character.

Biscuits are made from a number of ingredients. Flour is the most basic and important. Different types give a range of textures and crispness. Whole meal wheat flour is used in the “digestive,” “sweet meal,” or “wheat-meal” type of biscuits. Oatmeal forms the basis of oatmeal biscuits. Rice flour and corn flour add flavor. Fats give the biscuits their “shortness.” Butter and lard are the main fats, though these are augmented by vegetable and other refined fats. For fancy biscuits, sugar is an important ingredient, and introduces a range of tastes. It is added in several forms: processed as caster and Demerara sugars, syrups, honey, and malt extract. These have a range of consistencies and may help to bind together other ingredients. Aerating and raising ingredients, such as baking powder (bicarbonate of soda and tartaric acid), make the biscuit light. Flavorings are also added. These include dried fruit, nuts, chocolate (powder or chips), spices, herbs, and flavoring essences such as vanilla. The dry ingredients are bound together with eggs and milk (fresh, condensed, or dried) or water. Biscuits have a high energy content, ranging from 420 to 510 kcal per 100 gm.

The process of biscuit-making is rapid and continuous. The ingredients are mixed into a dough that is then kneaded and rolled to a uniform thickness. Biscuit shapes are cut from it, and placed in a traveling oven. Some biscuits require special preparation and cooking techniques.

Most biscuits are distinguished by their appearance: round, square, oblong, finger-shaped, or fancifully impressed with designs. Plain biscuits are normally punched with a cutter or docker, to increase crispness during baking. Fancy biscuits can be covered with sugar, icing, or coated (fully or partially) with chocolate. Each type of biscuit also has its own commercial name, which refers to ingredients, a designation (sandwich, wafer, macaroon, or cracker), texture, eating qualities, and the time when it was to be eaten.

Process Flow Chart of Biscuit manufacturing

Premixing-> Mixing-> Moulding->Baking->Sandwiching/ Cooling->Packing

Step-1: Pre-Mixing
In this section all the ingredients are mixed and poured in the mixer. At this stage- type of ingredient, its order of mixing, quantity, and temperature matters. Each ingredient has its own importance and action. The variables among the ingredients are water and ammonium bicarbonate (ABC), where water is used for dough making and ABC is used to increase height of biscuits.

Step-2: Mixing
Dough formation known as mixing stage. In this step first creaming is performed, all the liquid materials are poured and mixed with sugar to make an evenly mixed liquid, then flour is poured and mixed with the creamed contents. The more we mix the harder dough becomes, less mixing results in short dough. Generally, cookies are short dough biscuits whereas crackers are of hard dough fermented type.  After mixing dough with the creamed ingredients dough is formed which is fed to the moulder.

Step-3: Molding
It is a critical step in biscuit manufacturing process in terms of biscuit finishing and weight. Large weight results in losses in terms of extra weight given to the buyer. This extra weight which gets packed to maintain the written weight is known as giveaway. In a moulder there is a knife placed in between a forcing roller and a die. There are two controls present 1st knife control in all four directions up, down, forward and back, and press control in both left and right side of the roller.

Step-4: Baking (200 d.cel)

Baking consists of a number of chambers known as zone. Each zone is an independent oven with its own temperature setting. The large the plant capacity larger will be the number of zones. Biscuit travels in a mild steel continental wire mesh inside the oven. Raising, puffing, and colouring occurs in a sequence with overlapped boundaries inside an oven. Finally, after the oven what is needs to be checked is weather the biscuit is fully baked, even texture, required height, and colour. Biscuit needs to be golden brown to dark chocolaty depending upon the variety.

Step-5: Sandwiching/Cooling (5- 10 min)

Post baking sandwiching is done for cream biscuits, whereas other varieties are sent to packing after passing through a cooling tunnel/conveyor. Sandwiching is the process in which a layer of cream is poured between two biscuits and a delicious cream biscuit is produced.


Step-6: Packing

In packing there are various types of machines which pack the biscuits according to the pack weight i.e., 50g, 100g, 150g etc. and then after complete packing in corrugated fiber carton (CFC) they are sent for loading in trucks.

Bakery products, biscuits including wafer biscuits are made from maida, vanaspati or refined edible oil or table butter or desi butter or margarine or ghee. There are various established processes commercially available and being practiced by different manufacturers. Lots of developments are evident in field of machineries and processes. Biscuits are one of the most popular snacks around the world and liked and enjoyed by people of all age groups. It can be taken with anything from a cup of tea or coffee to milk or just nibbled alone. They can be dunked or eaten as is.


  1. Corley, T. A. B. “Nutrition, Technology and the Growth of the British Biscuit Industry 1820–1900.” In The Making of the Modern British Diet, edited by Derek J. Oddy and Derek S. Miller. London: Croom Helm, 1976.
  2. Corley, T. A. B. Quaker Enterprise in Biscuits: Huntley & Palmers of Reading 1822–1972. London: Hutchinson, 1972.

Industrial Effluent Treatment Plant- An Introduction

Water is an essential part of any food manufacturing plant. It is used as an ingredient, coolant, CIP solvent or in many other chemical based reactions in companies. After the completion of manufacturing process, this influent gets converted into wastewater which gets expelled from industry as a byproduct which is also known as effluent. This effluent is defined as a mixture of both toxic and non- toxic materials and it generally contains 99.9% water and 0.1% solids. The main task in treating the wastewater is simply to remove most or all this 0.1% of solids. Effluent cannot just be disposed to the environment because of the harmful material it contains. Therefore, an effluent treatment plant comes into play. This is simply a procedure put in place to purify industrial wastewater to recycle it or dispose of it safely. Different companies have different wastewater composition and require slightly different effluent treatment plant.

A. Characterization of Wastewater

Physical Parameters of the Wastewater

Wastewater has physical characteristics such as temperature, solids, odor, and color. In plumbing work the temperature and type of solids in the wastewater are important considerations. Wastewater at high temperature will affect some piping materials and treatment units such as septic tanks. You may have to consider the use of an arrestor to pre-treat the wastewater.

Chemical Parameters of the Wastewater

Wastewater contains chemicals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and levels of dissolved oxygen as well as others that may affect its composition and pH rating. Highly acidic or alkaline wastewater is probably trade waste and will require pre-treatment before discharge to the sewer. The chemical properties of wastewater may also affect the pipe material.

Biological Parameters of the Wastewater

This is the presence of microbial pathogens in the wastewater. Consists of microscopic flora and fauna which are pathogenic in nature and can transmit dangerous diseases such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery.

Therefore, ETP is designed to remove the physical, chemical, and biological materials present in the effluent.

B. Components of Effluent Treatment Plant:

Depending on the level of treatment the wastewater requires, an ETP is divided into four different levels each designed to remove a certain type of material in the effluent. There are four levels in wastewater treatment, each level designed in a way that by the time the process is complete, the water to be disposed to the environment is as friendly as possible. These levels are as follows:

Preliminary level

This aims at the removal of physical waste present in the effluent. This level involves physical processes such as sedimentation, filtration, aeration, flow equalization, clarification and screening.

Primary level

Aims at the removal of large solids and organic matter. It involves both physical and chemical processes. The same physical processes mentioned in the first level are utilized. The chemical process involves the addition of certain chemicals to improve the quality of the wastewater. These chemical processes include chemical coagulation, pH control by addition of HCI or sodium carbonate, chemical precipitation, flocculation, and dissolved air flotation.

Secondary level

Involves the removal of biodegradable organic materials and suspended matter. This level uses biological and chemical processes. The chemical processes are similar to level Biological processes involved are the suspended-growth process and the attached-growth/fixed-film process. The two biological processes can be used together or either one can be chosen.

Tertiary level

This level entails the removal of suspended and dissolved materials using the physical, chemical and biological process utilized together. The processes are as discussed in previous levels. Effluent treatment plants are a critical part of the manufacturing industries and other wastewater treatment plants. They keep the environment safe from hazardous materials through strict treatment protocols.

Effluent of food wastes are a significant contributor to nutrient and carbonaceous and nitrogenous waste discharge. Treatment of this food processing wastewater is complex and costly because of the contaminant loadings and the variability of the different wastes encountered in a plant. Industries including poultry and meat processing, dairy products and oil production generate high-strength wastes. While common wastewater treatment processes are used, there are constant developments taking place in treatment scheme so that wastewater can be economically converted into nontoxic effluent which can be discharged off into environment. In addition to reducing operating costs, ETPs are also considered environmentally friendly by reducing waste discharges and carbon footprints.



Yoghurt and its Commercial Processing

Milk and its processing has evolved a long way from being consumed as liquid milk to processing of milk to various dairy based product. If we are to list, some of the well known product frequently used in almost all household are Curd, Yoghurt, lassi, chach, paneer, dairy sweets etc. Requirement of these processing evolved from the fact, that milk is highly perishable in nature and cannot be stored long, hence processing if milk help in achieving the product shelf life from certain days to months.

Yoghurt, it is fermented dairy product having sort of thick consistency. And as per FDA code of Federal Regulations – “yogurt is a food produced by culturing cream, milk, partially skimmed milk, or skim milk alone or in combination with a bacterial culture that contains the lactic acid–producing bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.”   

Being a rich source of protein and calcium, the fermentation process facilitate the absorption of nutrients in our body. The live bacteria in yoghurt promotes the balancing of good and required microflora in stomach hence promoting digestion. Apart from Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus other bacterial culture such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus subsp. Casei, and Bifido-bacteria as probiotic culture.

Principle behind Yoghurt making

The bacterial fermentation of milk facilitates the yoghurt manufacturing process. The process starts with bacteria fermenting the present milk sugar of milk into lactic acids. The produced lactic acid brings down the milk pH to range of 4 and this causes the beginning of protein coagulation in milk.

The influential parameters for yoghurt thickness, consistency, texture and taste are

  • Starter culture
  • Fat content of milk
  • Amount if milk solid, protein

Another approach to have thick and set consistency product is to add skimmed milk powder- the catch point being, addition of skim milk powder to cold milk rather than heated milk or instead of firmer yoghurt, stringy natured yoghurt will be observed.

Yoghurt and its type

Natural Yoghurt – When no flavor or sweetener are added to the prepared yoghurt

Flavored– Have added flavor and sweeter that can be natural or artificial sweeteners

Greek Yoghurt – Natural yoghurt goes through straining process to remove whey content. The thick remaining is Greek yoghurt.

Greek Style Yoghurt– Natural Yoghurt when thickened with milk solids and stabilizers rather than straining.

Set Yoghurt– Yoghurt when fermented in final packing material to get set form.

Stirred Yoghurt– After incubation period is over and yoghurt proceeds for filling it is stirred at particular RPM for certain time to cut have stirred yoghurt

Drinking Yoghurt– To increase the fluidity and flavor,  milk is added along with desired fruit and fruit syrups.

Frozen Yoghurt– Regular yoghurt is mixed with pasteurized ice cream mix of milk cream and sugar along with other ingredients such as stabilizers and then frozen  

Yoghurt Cheese – Also known as “Labna” , which has its whey drained

How is Yoghurt Processed ?

Yoghurt process or commercial manufacturing have following steps involved –

Step-1: Milk Composition

There is desirable characteristic that is required to start with yoghurt processing. As mentioned,  the texture and end consistency depend upon milk composition and to be specific – milk solids. To increase the protein content, skim milk powder is also added in cold milk which enhances the texture.

Step-2: Pasteurization and

The pasteurization step is to kill pathogenic microorganism from milk so that the processed product is free of any form of contamination The process can be either batch pasteurization or continuous pasteurization depending upon the facility. Pasteurization is done at temperature range of 90-95 Deg. C with holding time of 10 minutes.

Step-3: Homogenization

Along with pasteurization, the milk is homogenized where the fat globules are uniformly broken in to smaller consistent product.

Step-4: Cooling

Milk is cooled down to temperature of 42+2 Deg. C, which is to provide most suitable growth temperature to bacteria.

Step-5: Fermentation

Milk is inoculated with the fermentation culture to a concentration range of 1.5-2% and the temperature of milk is maintained at 42+2 Deg. C for 4-6 hours, depending upon the time required to attain the lower pH of 4

Step-6: Addition of flavors/fruits and other ingredients

Flavors are added to product after cooling. Reducing the temperature stops the fermentation process, hence reduces the change or acidity change.

Flavor addition is also dependent on the type of final product required- In case of set curd, fruits are added at the bottom of the packing cup and then filled with product, while it can also be blended with product during/after fermentation process and then cooled for packing.

Nutritional Chart of Yoghurt

Yoghurt with abundant nutritive value is currently under extensive studies, to unveil many other health benefits of taking yoghurt in diet apart form already known benefits such as acting as immunity booster, reducing chances of infection and reducing risk of colon cancers.  

To make it more attractive and to satiate the demand of consumers, research works are going on for new flavor developments, along with increasing nutritional content and increasing the shelf life of yogurt.


  3. Dairy Council of California. 2015. Yogurt Nutrition. Dairy Council of California


Edible Oil- An Introduction

Oils and fats form an essential part of the modern diet and have been used for the preparation of food since time immemorial. These are rich source of dietary energy and contain more than twice the calorific value equivalent to the amount of carbohydrates. Functionality of oils and fats not only adds flavor in the food, but it also increases the nutritional value of food also. They serve as a heat transfer medium at elevated temperatures (e.g., frying), improve taste sensation (spreads and salad dressings), give texture and flavor to a wide range of foodstuffs, supply a concentrated source of energy, deliver critical building elements for the body and act as a carrier for essential minor components like vitamins A and D.

Fats and oils are constructed of building blocks called “triglycerides” resulting from the combination of one unit of glycerol and three units of fatty acids. They are insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents. They have lower densities than water, and may have consistencies at ambient temperature of solid, semisolid, or clear liquid. When they are solid appearing at normal room temperature, they are referred to as “fats,” and when they are liquid at that temperature, they are called “oils.” Fats and oils are classified as “lipids” which is a category that embraces a broad variety of chemical substances. In addition to triglycerides, it also includes mono- and diglycerides, phosphatides, cerebroids, sterols, terpenes, fatty alcohols, fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and other substances.


Classification of Edible Oil- Source of Raw Material

 Based on the source of raw materials, edible oil can be classified into three groups:

  1. Animal Oil: It refers to the oil obtained from animals, such as beef oil, pig, fish, etc. 

  1. Vegetable Oil: It refers to oils extracted /processed from plant roots, stems, leaves, fruits, flowers, or seeds tissue. Example includes  soybean oilrapeseed oilcottonseed oilpeanut oil, sesame oil, rice bran oilsunflower oilcorn oiltea seed oil, flax seed oil, safflower seed oil, etc.
  1. Microbial Oil: Single-cell lipids, refer to edible fats extracted and processed from certain microorganisms, including yeast, fungi, and algae.

Classification of Edible oil- Type of Processing Method Used

 Based on type of processing the edible oil receives, it can be classified into following categories:

  1. Hot Pressed Oil: These oils are extracted by pressing them at high temperatures due to which acidity of oil increases significantly and it loses most of its natural quality. These oils require refinement for making them fit for human consumption.
  1. Cold Pressed Oil: Unlike hot pressed oils, extraction process for these oils takes place at room temperature, at around 27 degrees centigrade due to which acid value is relatively low. These oil products can be directly consumed after precipitation and filtration and thus do not require any chemical refinement process.


  1. Leached Oil: When oil is extracted from the crushed mass of plant/animal biomass with the help of solvent, then this kind of oil is known as Leached oil. The leaching process depends mainly on the chemical structure of the solvent and the kind of solute that will be extracted from solid material. This probably follows the principle ‘like dissolves like’.
  1. Refined oil: Edible oils purchased in stores are known as “RBD” oils. These are oils that have been Refined, Bleached and Deodorized. Each of these steps is used to create a final oil that is consistent in taste, color and stability. As a result, these oils are generally tasteless, odorless, and colorless regardless of the original oilseed type or quality.
  1. Hydrogenated Oil: Generally, most of the oils are typically liquid at room temperature, therefore many companies use hydrogenation to get a more solid and spreadable consistency. During this process, hydrogen molecules are added to alter the texture, stability, and shelf life of the final product. Hydrogenated oils are also used in many baked goods to improve taste and texture.
  1. Blended Oil: Blended edible oil means an admixture of any two edible oils where the proportion by weight of any edible oil used in the admixture is not less than 20 percent. The blended mixture shall be clear, free from rancidity, suspended or insoluble matter or any other foreign matter, separated water, added coloring matter, flavoring substances, mineral oil, or any other animal and non-edible oils, or fats, argemone oils, hydrocyanic acid, castor oil and tricresyl phosphate.

Fat is an important part of our food as it serves many important physiological functions such as meeting energy requirements, being structural component of cells, starting component of various inflammatory mediators, energy reserve and provides insulation against freezing temperatures in newborn. As it plays an important part in our food and nutrition, its quality and quantity bear a huge impact on overall health. Therefore, oil manufacturers must pay special attention for processing oil that is non-hazardous to the health of the consumers.



Fresh and Frozen Food

Food product which has not undergone any processing or is fresh food. The term “fresh” is now used generically to indicate that fruit and vegetables have not been processed (e.g. canned, pickled, preserved or frozen). Fruit and vegetables that have been washed and/or trimmed described as fresh, an indication provided (tags) they have been washed and/or trimmed is evident. In various food product “fresh” implies different meaning. Like, in meat, fresh can be used to differentiate raw meat from that which has been (chemically) preserved. In fish, if kept chilled can be called fresh. In fruit juice, the term “fresh” is not used on juices made from concentrates and “freshly squeezed” is only used to describe juice extracted from the fruit (not prepared from concentrate) where only a short time has elapsed between extraction and packing. In fresh bread, when using terms such as “freshly baked”, “baked in store” and “oven fresh” the implication is that the bread is freshly produced on-site from raw ingredients. However, some stores sell bread made from part-baked products (usually packed in an inert atmosphere or frozen off-site) which are then baked in-store. The FSA states that use of such terms in this circumstance could “potentially infringe the general legal provisions”.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are essential for good health. In fact, research has shown that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Key Nutrients in Fruits and Vegetables

Introduction to Frozen foods

Frozen foods are an affordable way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. In fact, families who incorporate frozen foods into their normal routine may have better diet quality. With so many choices in the frozen foods aisle, there are plenty of opportunities to find something you like.

Fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and often frozen within hours, locking in nutrients and flavor. Generally, frozen foods retain their vitamins and minerals and there is no change to the carbohydrate, protein or fat content. In some cases, frozen foods have more vitamins and minerals compared to fresh because fresh foods lose vitamins and minerals over time while freezing preserves nutrients.

Frozen foods can be a convenient and affordable way to incorporate healthful foods from every food group, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy. In addition to a time-saving convenience, frozen foods can be a benefit for individuals with limited kitchen space or utensils. Frozen foods are affordable in price, but they also can aid in reducing food waste.

Fresh or frozen: What’s the difference?

  1. The carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and mineral content are similar between fresh and frozen.
  2. Fresh food can lose half of its vitamins and phytonutrients during storage or cooking.
  3. Fewer of the fat-soluble vitamins A and E are lost in the frozen packaging process compared with water-soluble vitamins like C.
  4. Frozen produce may contain more vitamins and phytonutrients than days-old fresh items, though additional cooking and storage after defrosting may close that gap.




People make food choices for complex reasons taste, price, and convenience may trump perceived nutritional value. But there’s no doubt that for taste and nutrient quality, you can’t beat recently fresh-picked local produce.

On the other hand, if fresh produce is unavailable, inconvenient, out of season, or beyond your budget, frozen products provide plenty of nutrition.


  1. Are Frozen Foods Healthy for Your Diet? (
  2. Fresh Foods ( Fresh Foods (
  3. fresh food photography – Google Search
  4. The Pros and Cons of Frozen Foods – Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter
  5. Fresh vs Frozen Fruit and Vegetables — Which Are Healthier? (
  6. Fresh or frozen food? Using SCIENCE to prove which is best with surprising results! – BBC – YouTube

Mycotoxin in Edible Nuts, oilseeds, and Legumes

Food commodities like nuts, oilseeds and legumes are major dietary constituents which are widely consumed across world in form of traditional food or as a functional ingredient in processed foods. These constituents also help in combating various lifestyle associated chronic disorders as these are enriched in dietary proteins, fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and phytochemicals. However, these materials, due to their physical and chemical composition, are particularly susceptible to mycotoxin contamination due to the presence of filamentous fungi/molds. Mycotoxin contaminated can occur any time during supply chain, either during vegetation in the field or during storage, as well as during the processing.

Mycotoxin  based contamination appears to be one of the major causes for economic losses of food and feed stuff and generating health-related risks posing serious health threat to both humans and livestock. Mycotoxins are low molecular weight secondary metabolites that are naturally produced by certain molds in food products under warm and humid conditions. Mycotoxins appear in the food chain as a result of mould infection of crops both before and after harvest. Most mycotoxins are chemically stable and can survive food processing.  The adverse health effects of mycotoxins range from acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer. Exposure to mycotoxins can happen either directly by eating infected food or indirectly from animals that are fed contaminated feed.

Several hundred different mycotoxins have been identified, but the most observed mycotoxins that present a concern to human health and livestock include aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins, zearalenone and deoxynivalenol. The major toxigenic fungal genera are Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium producing a diverse group of mycotoxins with adverse effects. Insect infestations and damage play a major role in fungal infection and mycotoxin contamination. Insect control either through pest control, breeding or genetic engineering of resistant cultivars and/or biological control through the application of non-toxigenic strains is a promising tool to reduce mycotoxin contamination.

A. Classification of Mycotoxin Flora:

Fungi contaminating nuts, oilseeds and legumes have been conventionally divided into two groups:

  1. Field Fungi: Field fungi are those that infect the crops throughout the vegetation phase of plants and they include plant pathogens such as FusariumAlternaria, and Botrytis  .
  2. Storage Fungi: This group include Aspergillus, PenicilliumRhizopusand Mucor genera that infect grains after harvesting i.e., during storage.

B. Types of Mycotoxins 

  1. Aflatoxins:

The aflatoxins are the major mycotoxin contaminants of peanuts, hazel nuts, pistachio nuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts and therefore the most important mycotoxins entering the human food chain upon consumption. A. flavus and A. parasiticus are the major producer of this secondary metabolite. These are the family of closely related compounds which includes aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2 and AFB1. AFB1 is considered as the most toxic one among mentioned classes of aflatoxins. Based on the acute aflatoxin poisoning in India, an LD50 of approximately 5mg/kg body weight has been proposed in humans.

  1. Ochratoxin A (OTA)

It is produced by P. verrucosum and P. nordicum and by a few Aspergillus species including A. carbonarius and A. niger. The mycotoxin occurs on a wide variety of food products including coffee, grapes, beans, chickpeas, and nut seeds such as pecans and pistachios. OTA exhibits immunosuppressive, nephrotoxic, nephrocarcinogenic and teratocarcinogenic effects. The formation of DNA adducts, and the induction of oxidative stress have been proposed as possible mechanisms involved in OTA nephrocarcinogenic, which was classified as a group 2B carcinogen or possibly carcinogenic in humans. Involvement of OTA in the development of chronic renal disease and kidney and urinary tumors have also been reported.

  1. Deoxynivalenol (DON)

It is one of the major trichothecene mycotoxins produced mainly by Fusarium graminearum, F. culmorum and F. crookwellense which mainly infects the food commodities like maize, millet, sorghum and soybeans and rice. The major acute toxic effect of DON is related to feed refusal, vomiting and severe gastrointestinal toxicity in animals. Other effects include teratogenicity, cardiotoxicity, and disruption of the immune system.

  1. Zearalenone (ZEA)

It normally co-occurs with DON and exhibits its activity by binding to estrogen receptors altering the estrogen responsive elements in the nucleus. ZEA also interferes with steroid metabolism and hence could be involved in the disruption of the endocrine system and has been shown to increase liver cell and pituitary tumors in mice. ZEA, α-zearanol and the type B trichothecene, 15-acetyl DON, are consistently detected in soybean oil.

  1. Fumonisins:

It is mainly produced by Fusarium verticilioides , F. proliferatum and  A. niger. It cause a wide variety of toxic syndromes in animals, and depending on the animal species could affect the liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. They have been associated with the development of liver and esophageal cancer and neural tube defects in humans. Fumonisins have been classified as apparent non-genotoxic carcinogens that exhibited their mode of action via the disruption of lipid biosynthesis and hence the structure and function of cellular membranes.

Exposure to mycotoxins needs to be kept as low as possible to protect the people. Mycotoxins not only pose a risk to both human and animal health, but also impact food security and nutrition by reducing people’s access to healthy food. WHO encourages national authorities to monitor and ensure that levels of mycotoxins in foodstuff on their market are as low as possible and comply with the both national and international maximum levels, conditions and legislation.



  7. Food Safety Management – A practical Guide for food Industry


Rice Bran Oil Processing

Rice bran is by-product obtained during rice milling operation. This is golden reddish cuticle obtained after removal of the husk and during polishing of the rice. Rice bran is a mixture of substances, including protein, fat, ash, and crude fiber. In many cases, bran contains tiny fractions of rice hull, which increases the ash content of bran.

Rice bran is obtained from paddy rice in a multistage process, after harvest. The grains are submitted to the milling process, where, first, the kernel is separated from the hull (dehulling). The burnishing step is carried out to remove the brownish layer of the kernel, producing germ and bran. It is used for treating diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, alcoholism, obesity, and AIDS; for preventing stomach and colon cancer; for preventing heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease; for strengthening the immune system; for increasing energy and improving athletic performance; for improving liver function; and as an antioxidant.


Rice Bran Oil –

Rice bran oil (also known as rice bran extract) is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. Rice bran oil is also used for high cholesterol. Some people apply rice bran directly to the skin for an allergic skin rash called eczema (ectopic dermatitis). Rice bran oil, also known as Rice bran extract, is notable for high unsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Gamma Oryzanol.

Rice Bran Oil Processing –

  1. Solvent Extraction Method –

RBO produced from solvent (normally hexane) extraction is preferred as a cooking oil, after further refinement, while the oil produced by cold pressed extraction is considered to be a superior functional oil as a dietary supplement and medicinal purposes. After solvent extraction, further refining of the rice bran oil involves degumming, neutralization, bleaching, dewaxing, and deodorizing to produce quality cooking oil, resulting in large amount of waste products left from the processes. Degumming involves the removal of phospholipids and lipoproteins through hydration by water with citric or phosphoric acid. Free fatty acids (FFAs) are removed by caustic soda (NaOH) in the neutralization process. Rice acid oil (RAO) is the major waste product from these two steps. Then, the bleaching step is applied to remove the pigments (including chlorophylls and carotenoids) of the RBO by adsorption on activated carbon or bleaching earth. A dewaxing and winterization steps follow by maintaining the oil at a low and very low temperature respectively to cause the solidified waxes and other high melting point substances as well as high melting point wax are separated as waste products.

  1. Cold Pressed Extraction Process –

The cold pressed RBO is produced by compressing the rice bran through a mechanical screw press under mild heating (<50 °C), and the resulting oil is then filtered through filter paper, to produce the refined functional oil. Defatted rice bran and filter cake are the main by-products from this process.

During both processes, a considerable amount of by-product is produced, some of which contains more or less quantities of potential ingredients for functional food, nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical manufacture. These ingredients include mainly of γ-oryzanol, tocotrienol, tocopherol, phytosterol, lecithin, carotenoids and long-chain alcohols. Rice bran wax (RBW) is also a rich source of aliphatic primary alcohols knows as policosanols and many studies have shown that rice policosanols moderately decrease plasma cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemia patients, reduce platelet aggregation.

Image – Flow chart of rice bran oil (RBO) production (a) RBO from solvent extraction process (b) RBO from cold pressed extraction process.


RBO is known for its high nutritional value due to the high concentrations of health beneficial bioactive compounds naturally present in the oil. Hot extraction process gets more oil yield and pure edible oil than the cold processing. It is gaining huge popularity in recent days due to its umpteen health benefits including improved heart health, regulates blood glucose and blood pressure, and prevents cancers, enhanced immunity, and skin health. Furthermore, it renders powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, so reap the wellness incentives by adding this nourishing oil in your regular cooking.



What is jaggery; and why is it good for you?

Jaggery is a kind of unrefined sugar. Raw, concentrated sugarcane juice is boiled until it becomes solid and can be formed into blocks. It has the slight bitterness of molasses and the richness of caramel.

Jaggery (Gur) has been cultivated in India for thousands of years. Known as s´arkarã (in Sanskrit), it was the only sugar known to the subcontinent, even reaching as far as other parts of Asia, and Africa. Ayurvedic texts dating back to over 5,000 years mention its benefits: boosting blood purification, improving digestion, and enhancing bone and pulmonary health. It was the Portuguese who discovered the ingredient in Kerala in the late 1600s. From the Malayalam cakkarã, they rechristened it xagarã, which later became jaggery.

Types of jaggery

There are four other kinds not made from sugar cane, but they are unusual. One, Nolen Gur (found in Bengal – ‘nolen’ means new and ‘gur’ is the word for jaggery), is made from date palm sap; and a second type is made from coconut sap. In Sri Lanka they make a kind of liquid jaggery, or treacle, from the sap of the kithul (aka jaggery palm) tree. In Myanmar they make jaggery out of the sap of the local toddy palm.

Where jaggery is most commonly found?

It is used commonly throughout India, Afghanistan, Iran and south-west Asia (in Hindi it’s known as Gur).

Potential health benefits

All kinds of health benefits are claimed for jaggery, from curing constipation to reducing blood pressure and everything in between; certainly, it contains useful vitamins and minerals not present in refined sugar. In Ayurvedic medicine it’s used to treat respiratory conditions. If eaten during the winter months, when the sugarcane is harvested, and it is fresh it’s claimed that eating it provides a boost to the immune system. Jaggery can be preserved into the summer but it needs to be frozen.

The darker the better – The first important thing to note is that the darker it is the richer and deeper the flavor.



Chemical composition of jaggery:

Minerals present in jaggery:

Table:1 Content given per 100 g of jaggery

Vitamin present in jaggery:

Table:2 Content given per 100 g of jaggery


Best crushing practices

Traditional method of crushing:

There is initial state of manufacturing of jaggery is extraction of sugarcane juice by crushing. In traditional method two kind of crushing roller are used which is:

  1. Vertical crusher B) Horizontal crusher

In vertical crusher the juice recovery is about 50-55% & also the efficiency of horizontal crusher is 55-60%. These roller are driven by diesel  as well as with animal  in which single oxe  crush about 50kg per hour & 5HP diesel increase extraction rate up to 300kg per hour.

For jaggery production manufacturer because they use less technology & chemicals the cane must crushed within 24 hours other wise sugar is invert  into different sugar & not get solidified as per require. The recovery of sugarcane juice is about 50-60%, for more yield we require more efficient machines for crushing.


New machinery for sugarcane juice recovery

In India there is four roller sugarcane crusher is developed by Agricultural Engineering College & Research Institute, The working of machine the four roller is provided in place of three as used in traditional crusher. By shaft & gear wheel system the power is transmitted to the roller and we are able to extract the juice.

Silent feature of this machine is that it is four roller horizontal type crusher up to 70% available juice is extracted which is additional 8-10% more than traditional crusher.

Juice filtration

Jaggery quality depend upon the clarity of juice it also help in storage of juice for long time. The latest economical & effective developed filter is available in RS & JRS Kolhapur  is two stage filtration system fabricated from SS (304 grade) by this filter we easily remove adulterants, dust particle etc.. The first stage filter is stationary & made of stainless steel 304 of 20 gauge sheet with 3 mm round hole strainer & has  29 holes/sq. inch. Second stage filter is rotary filter with .5 mm screen size & covered over inclined cylinder . The rotary cylinder screen revolved around its longitudinal axis& separates out the juice impurities at lower end with the help of spirals provided inside it. The clean juice is collected in the tray placed below cylinder. 

Cubical jaggery

The concentrated jaggery is put into the moulding frame & dry them than remove from frame. Cubical Jaggery is an unrefined healthy sweetener produced using concentrated sugar cane juice. It is high fiber and mineral content. It is a respiratory track cleaner. Jaggery has the ability to cleanse the body and act as a digestive agent.


Conclusion – Jaggery in different forms, as manufactured and explained above, comprises of many useful minerals, vitamins and antioxidants stated earlier in this manuscript, can be taken as health supplement, which would help improving the majority population suffering due to under nutrition, and/or malnutrition, because of deficient common diet and probably, may replace sugar in making of health foods, and hence, appears to have bright future among masses and could be promoted.