- Food Irradiation
Food and Nutrition Division (FSD) is engaged in conducting the basic and applied research aiming to control the enormous post-harvest losses prevailing in the country and to overcome the trade barriers encountered by the exporters of horticultural commodities. The division has successfully completed many international and national funded projects on food irradiation, contributing to conserve the foods and to make the diets safe with extended useable life. The technology of Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) provided to Pak Army is a glaring example of FSD contribution to national economy in terms of import substitution. Based on the importance of MRE technology as long shelf life and hygienic ration, endeavors are underway to extend the technology to IDP’s and natural disaster victims through relevant agencies like national disaster management etc. On the basis of R&D conducted at the division, Government of Pakistan has approved establishment of five commercial food irradiators in Pakistan and launched iron fortified wheat flour program in the country.
- Mushroom Cultivation
The division is also focusing on popularization of Mushroom cultivation among the farming communities for income generation as well as for provision of nutritious and healthy diet to consumers. With the collaboration of Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) and Directorate of Science and Technology (DOST) Govt of KPK, the low input cost but high output has been significantly disseminated to dwellers of mountainous areas of KPK with tangible impact on their economy.
- Food Fortification
In order to overcome the micro-nutrients deficiency based diseases, the division is working for fortification of commonly consumed foods at national level. Worthwhile work has been done in iron fortification of wheat flour and salt iodization protects as a tool to minimize the intensity of anemia and goiter related problems, widely prevalent in the country.
- Food Safety
As an alternative to costly and hazardous chemical pesticides and fertilizers, the Food & Environmental Protection Section of the Division has developed several Green Growth Technology products (largely based on herbal extracts), which after showing successful results in farmers fields are ready to be launched commercially through entrepreneurs.
- Human Resource Development
The division is hectic in development of Human resource in Mushroom cultivation, food preservation, iodine/iron analysis as well as in other analytical techniques and product development methods. Apart from this FSD is catering the analytical needs in food and microbiology composition of University students and food growers for the proximate analysis and pesticide residue assessment in food samples. As a commercial non-food activity the division is also providing commercial irradiation services to gemstone traders to make the commodity more precious and lucrative for the international markets.