Architect of India’s first and world’s second test tube baby

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Medical Research Division

Initially it started research projects in collaboration with CINI-Child in Need institute. CINI has been working since 1975 and doing extraordinary innovative developmental work in the area of health, nutrition and education of child, adolescents and women in need. For which it received national award for its contribution in child welfare twice.

A collaborative work with CINI was functional from 1991 titled as "A Climco pathological study of gynecological morbidities among rural women." The aim of the project was mainly to find out the status of reproductive health of rural women in CINI project area. More then 600 women were examined. About 70% were found to have protozoa in the stool and 25% of the women had hemoglobin in blood lower then normal.. However no neoplastic condition was observed in cytological examination by PAP stain. No case of STD was detected in the subjects examined... About 200 subjects were examined for bacteriology of vaginal and cervical swabs. About 158 got aerobic bacilli, 60 had micrococcus, 50 had Kelbsiella, 5 had Streptococci, 4 had Staphylococcus allbus and one had Pseudomonas. 

Our research center assisted Jadavpur University in providing clinical materials for a research project on Distribution of oxidized lipids (cholesterol and Fat) in raw and processed food and their effect on serum lipid classes sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research. A research paper was published ref : 
(a) "Cytotoxicity of heat damaged vegetable oils"- Science & Culture: 68, (7-8 ), 207-208, 2002) 
(b) Oxidised cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients lour OTAI, 31, 1, 3-5, 1999) 

Preliminary research and investigations were carried out or crvogenic freezing of semen. The Medical Research Division also conducted several training programs on medical laboratory techniques. It also routinely provided services through fertility regulation and fertility restoration clinics. After the decision of the Health Dept. of Govt. of West Benqal to plan for establishment of a research center on reproductive biology in memory of Dr. Subhas Mukherjee in 2005, it was decided that medical research should be conducted in the Dr. Subhas Mukherjee Memorial Reproductive Biology Research Centre only in the interdisciplinary area.

Food and Nutrition Division

The F & N Division of the research center was established in 1994 at the Behala Industrial Estate of West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation Ltd. Few Years prior to that the new Ministry of Food Processing Industry was created at New Delhi as also the new Dept of Food Processing Industry in the Govt. of West Bengal, as food Processing industry was identified as the Sunrise Industry in the country. Hence the government decided to promote food Processing Industry through several kinds of activities.

Food and Nutrition Division of our research center was inaugurated on 19th June, 1994, by the then Hon'ble Minister of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of West Bengal, Janab Abdur Razzak Molla.

Financial support was provided by the Ministry both at the Centre as well as in the State Department to create pilot plant laboratory, Quality Control Laboratory and training classes.

Initially, the Objectives of the Division are:

- To assist food Processing industry to solve specific technical problem.
- To prepare project reports.
- To develop manpower for food processing industry, through training of entrepreneurs and operators.
- To develop appropriate and novel products, processes and machinery through R & D in the context of present liberalization policy
- Routine testing of processed food products.
- Pilot plant trial for a process,
- To organize meeting, seminar and exhibition.
- To provide guidance in Nutrition Guidance Clinic.

Since 1994 the multi-dimensional activities were continued.

Major research projects completed or presently executed are:

a) Extrusion cooking technology for development of low cost RTE nutritious food for mass feeding programmes using partially defatted decorticated oilseeds.

b) Enrichment of edible oils with micronutnents and antioxidants extracted ftom dehydrated leafy vegetables.

c) Decortication of sesame seeds for extraction of more oil and better quality oil and cake of superior quality. The above three projects were sponsored by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Directorate of Vanaspati, Vegetable Oils and Fats, Govt. of India. Food & Nutrition Division has created a research school over the last few years in R&D work on estimation of antioxidant activity in different food and biological specimens and utilization of the knowledge for nutritional and commercial benefits.

d) A research project on status of free reducing sugar in potatoes of West Bengal, supported by the Dept. of FPI & H, Go WB is continuing. The F & N Dimsior is preparing a document about the status of potato in West Bengal in relation to the content of free reducing sugar at different places under different conditions. .

e) The Food & Nutrition Division has continued the work on improvement of lactic fermented mixed vegetables mainly for the purpose of preservation, which was started at the Dept. of Food Technology & Biochemical Engineering, Jadavpur University. The Govt. has estimated that about 30% of vegetables are wasted in the country as post harvest losses. At the same time at present only 1 to 2% of the vegetables are utilized for processing. Such low cost simple technology could be of great value to the farmers who are the worst sufferers in this regard. Dept. of FPI & H, Govt. of WB has provided fund to Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur for the promotion and utilization of the technology at the grass root level. The preliminary experiments and trials are found to be encouraging.

Existing facilities in Food & Nutrition Division 

The following major plants and instruments are available:

Twin screw cooker extruder, can seamer, SS puIper, autoclave, grinder, decorticator, coating pan, heat sealer, baking oven, batter mixer, dough mixer, rotary toaster, oil expeller, filter press, through flow drier, c; uss flow drier, fluidized bed drier, spray drier, cream separator, chow making machine, sifter, emery gram polisher, plate freezer, deep freezer, biogas generator, Gerber centrifuge, pocket refractometer, can vacuum tester, pH recorder, digital temperature indicator, can seam testing gauge, screw gauge, anemometer, chemical balance, single pan balance, incubator, GLC, hot air oven, muffle furnace, spring balance, hardness tester, overhead projector, slide projector, microphone set, set of glass apparatus- Bidwell Sterling, 502 estimation, vacuum distillation, low temperature thermometer, UV -visible 
spectrophotometer (Hitachi), computer and printer, oil immersion microscope, inverted microscope, luminometer, colorimeter, laminar flow etc.

The F & N Division had the following research Publication:


A guide to Applied Nutrition, Pub: Dr. Subhas Mukherjee Memorial
Reproductive Biology Research Centre, 
Food & Nutrition Division, 1999. 

Research Papers:

- Evaluation of Total Antioxidant Capacity of some local common vegetables, spices & tea- Journal of Food Science & Technology (in press).

- Studies on the antioxidant activity of oil extract of curry leaf in oil- Journal of Oil Technologists'. Association of India, Volume 51, No. 1, 2005.

- Effect of dehulling of sesame seed on oil yield & quality- Science & Culture, 65 (5-6), 163-164, 1999.

- Evaluation of antioxidant effectiveness of a few selected vegetables- Environment Nutrition & Interaction, 1:287-297, 1997.

Training Programmes

Training programmes of different kinds were organized routinely for entrepreneurs, institutions and individuals. A list of training programmes so far conducted is stated in the enclosed table.

A few important training programmes in food processing and nutrition organized by Food & Nutrition Division:

Programme title Supported by Year
All India Co-ordinated Project (AICP) On
Low-cost preservation of Horticultural  
produce (covering eight States in India)
Dept of Science & Technology Govt of India 1995-96
Laboratory classes on food processing- 
Microbial technology- food analysis etc Education 
In Diploma course on Food Processing 
Technology of Sheikhpara ARM Polytechnic 
Murshidabad & Falakata Polytechnic,
West Bengal State Council of Technical between
Certificate Course on Food Processing
West Bengal State Food Processing &
Horticulture Development Corporation
Ltd- (a Govt of WB enterprise)
EDP on Food Processing Dept of Food Processing Industries &
Horticulture, Govt. WB
few programs
EDP on Food Processing Ministry of Food Processing Industries,
Govt of India
Training in fruit & vegetable Processing DRDC, Self Help Group Purba Medinipur
Zilla Parishad Govt. of WB
Nutrition Education & Guidance Dept of Science & Technology & NES,
Govt of West Bengal

 Training Unit:
Inauguration of the Training Unit of the Institute
Training and education is a continuing process. Without repetitive education and training in food handling, processing and food safety the bulk processing of food may not achieve success. Moreover, appropriate scientific developments may not flourish at different level in line with the development in advanced world maintaining standards set by CODEX and other standard setting bodies.

Realizing the importance of training and education, our Food & Nutrition Division procured additional space of 1200 sq. ft, adjoining; the existing Food & Nutrition Division in the industrial Estate. As the existing Food & Nutrition was inadequate to house the laboratory facilities as well as the training classes, hence training programmes with larger number of participants were not feasible.

The new Training Unit will be exclusively used for the purpose of training, including hands-on training as also awareness camps with larger number of participants. The training unit was opened and inaugurated by Shri Sailen Sarkar, Hon'ble Minister for food processing Industries & Horticulture, Govt. of West Bengal on 21st June, 2005. Training could be imparted effectively if modern gadget, instruments and equipments are made availed for use by the trainees and trainers.

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