Research Group :     Food Technology & Nutrition

Introduction Group composition
Research program work done so far
Food engineering involves the application of engineering principles and concepts to the handling, storage, processing, packaging, and distribution of food and related products. The objective of the food engineering section at NIFA is to develop new food products and conceive, design and operate food processes, and equipment for effective preservation and value addition of foods. Food Engineering provides a sound basis for the development of a viable food industry. In countries where food engineering is a well established discipline, food industry is an important and in some cases the largest sector of the economy.
Group Composition  
Current Research Programme
  • Studies on working out the most efficient and economically feasible spawn and compost for oyster cultivation.
  • Low Phytate Wheat, Nutritional and Biochemical Attributes.
  • Better utilization of food for healthy and productive life in agriculture sector.
  • Fortification and physicochemical evaluation of canola and suflower oil wih sea buckthorn oil.
  • Dietary approaches for combating iron and vitamin A deficiencies.
  • Effect of irradiation, Cooking and Packaging on quality and Stability of carotenoids rich foods
  • Effect of processing on antioxidant content of apple
  •  Standardization of a new method for scavenging free radicals by Fricke dosimetry
  •  Standardization of compost and spawn species for Button and Chinese mushroom and transfer of technology to farmers
  •  Optimization of technology for shelf life extension of plum fruit
  • Value addition of agricultural materials (rape seed) through extrusion cooking
  • Popularization of canning technology for fruits and vegetables


Work done so far
R & D on iron fortification  

On the basis of R & D conducted, NIFA, launching of Iron Fortification at national level is in progress, which is a credit to NIFA/PAEC. Details....

astringency Removal from   persimmon  

A process on the principle of modified atmosphere was developed to remove the undesirable astringency from persimmon fruit which hampers its export in Southeast Asian market where the consumers want ripe, hard and non-astringent fruit. This technique has the potential to increase the export of this nutritious fruit.

Utilization of dried citrus peel  

Addition of dried citrus peel in the diet as minor ingredient in the diet of poultry birds resulted in significant reduction in cholesterol level of eggs/blood. This achievement has a practical significance in view of increased cardiac problem in Pakistani population.


Radiation decontamination of poultry feed


A project on decontamination of poultry feed using the gamma radiation was completed, substantiating the effectiveness of this physical process cost effectively which also excludes the use of harmful chemical antibiotics. The practical application of the process will lead to reduction of cost of poultry production on one hand and economic loss incurred due to mortality and morbidity in poultry flock on the other. Details.....


Extrusion Cooking


Extrusion cooking is continuous process of mixing, shearing, heating/cooking and shaping. Its major advantages include Continuous high throughput processing, energy efficiency, processing of relatively dry materials, improved textural and flavor characteristics, control of thermal changes, and use of unconventional ingredients. Its has potential industrial applications in production of ready to eat cereals, snacks and Pasta (Macaroni), oil expelling, Pre-cooking of pulses, protein texturization, poultry feed, and fish feed.

At NIFA, the over all objective of extrusion cooking programme is to establish extrusion cooking research programme at NIFA. Specific objectives are:

  • Design and fabrication of laboratory size screw extruder
  • Devlop this technology for prodcuttion of cereal based value added products
  • Utilize this technology in oil expelling from rape seed

    A single screw extruder has already been developed and fabricated at NIFA for processing of cereal based products (Picture attached). Further more a R&D project has been awarded by PSF for design and fabrication of a laboratory size single screw extruder. This project will contribute to the national economy in a number of ways including savings on machinery import, development of value added food and feed products, and expansion of Agro-Industrial Sector.
Solar Dehydration/Drying of Fruits and Vegetables  

The removal of water from a product under controlled conditions of air flow, temperature and humidity is called dehydration. Fresh fruits and vegetables have high moisture contents (~90%) providing a favorable environment. At NIFA,the over all objective of this programme is to devlop an efficient solar dryer for large scale drying of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products. Specific objectives are:
                        1). Design and fabrication of an efficient pilot scale solar dryer
                        2) Determine optimum drying conditions for various products

A pilot scale solar drier has already been developed at NIFA. A number of fruits and vegetables have been dried in this drier. Efforts are underway to improve its efficiency.This project has the potential to add value and preserve value to large quantities of fruits and vegetables that are other wise of low quality or wasted. It will result in increased earnings for the farmers and other related enterprises. Dryers capable of drying large quantities of fruits and vegetables in relatively shorter periods of time will have substantial economic benefits for the growers and industry.



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