USSEC Helps Soymilk Processing Company to Launch its Products in India’s School Lunch Program
- General News
The Government of India (GOI) runs the world’s largest feeding and social welfare program, covering more than 240 million beneficiaries under its various feeding and supplementary nutrition programs. USSEC India has been working closely with the government, soy food industry and other related stakeholders to introduce soy-based recipes and formulations to these programs to enhance the nutritional values of the meals.
USSEC’s Dr. Ratan Sharma, Director – India Soy Food Program, recently worked with one large scale soymilk and soymilk powder manufacturing company to help them launch their soymilk powder for the school lunch program popularly known as “Mid-Day Meal.” The Bio-Nutrients company, based in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), has been awarded the bid to supply the soymilk powder to one million children studying in government schools in Bhopal and nearby districts.
Bio-Nutrients will supply soymilk powder in large bags to the Nandi Foundation, which is one of the biggest government contractors supplying the meals to the schools in Bhopal and other parts of the country. Bio-Nutrients has installed blenders and other equipment required to reconstitute the soymilk powder into soymilk in the kitchens run by the Nandi Foundation for the preparation of school meals. This powder is pre-mixed with sugar and flavor.
Initially, this soymilk will be served to the children on alternate days, eventually becoming part of the daily meal. Dr. Sharma is helping the company in all aspects of this project from the procurement of quality soybeans to the production of an excellent quality soymilk powder and its further value addition.
There is a growing interest by the Indian government for using soy-based products in the government feeding and social welfare programs. This type of dry soy product will be highly suitable for such programs to mete out stipulated protein and calorie requirements per government norms. These products are convenient for transportation, handling, storage, and are easy to cook.
Dr. Sharma is also working to fortify the soymilk powder with mineral and vitamin premixes to further enhance its nutritional value and make it more enriched for the feeding programs as well as for general consumption.
USSEC’s efforts have helped to make the soymilk powder conveniently available across the country in many super stores and retail chain in various sizes.
Soymilk and tofu is a flourishing soy food business in India. There are more than 850 soymilk companies in India working on a small, medium and large scale production, consuming a good chunk of whole soybeans. No food utilization specific variety of soybeans, however, are grown in India. In order to initiate the import of food-grade U.S. soybeans to India, USSEC will promote the food utilization specific non-GM U.S. soybeans suitable for the production of whole bean based soy products and for the food grade crush to produce the soy flour in India.