Aimed at harnessing the potential of millets and fish for both nutritional and economic advancement, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology is looking at entrepreneurship development for millet based ready-to-eat functional foods with fish protein and lipid.

To address nutritional deficiencies, the institute organised a one-day workshop focussing on aqua-millets with a grant from Department of Science and Technology under Science Heritage and Research Initiative. As many as 19 participants comprising entrepreneurs and farmers attended the workshop to know potential of millet-based RTE smart functional foods fortified with fish protein and lipid. 

The project, over the span of three years, seeks to develop innovative ready-to-eat smart functional foods that combine the nutritional benefits of millets with the richness of fish protein and lipid.

George Ninan, CIFT Director, highlighted the opportunities in the millet entrepreneurship sector and encouraged interested participants to leverage the institution’s agri business incubation centre (ABI). The centre at CIFT provides comprehensive support to budding entrepreneurs, including technical consultancy, infrastructure facilities, expert guidance, and training to establish sustainable enterprises.

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Beyond stimulating entrepreneurship, the production of these food items and the associated workshop and project offer numerous benefits. They not only create employment opportunities within local communities but also contribute to the economic development of the country while ensuring food security.

In a bid to foster entrepreneurship and underscore the nutritional significance of millets, CIFT unveiled a diverse range of food products crafted from millets and fish several months ago. The line-up includes gluten-free cookies, fishMi sausages, millet-based batter formulations, and millet muffins fortified with collagen peptide.

According to CIFT scientists, these products represent a fusion of innovation and nutrition. The addition of fish protein to millet-based food items significantly enhances their nutritional value. Fish is a rich source of high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals, making these food products particularly beneficial for children, pregnant women, and the elderly.