The Mysore-based the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed dried and packaged food for astronauts. These formulations were displayed at the four-day Space Expo-2010 organised by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Bangalore on Saturday.
This exhibition focused on the commercialisation of space, remote sensing and navigation.
“We have developed all these technologies for armed forces and we are really catering the requirement of the armed forces and now we are concentrating on the development of some of these technologies by little modification for the development of some space food also,” said Dr. Jaishankar, a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Food Laboratory in Mysore.
“This mainly includes some freeze dehydrated items that is some juice products, mango juice products, pineapple juice products, grape juice products and some rice based and chicken based items,” he added.
The food laboratory has developed around 70 varieties of dehydrated and processed food items that have undergone strict procedures to zero-in on micro bacterial and macro bacterial nutrients.
The food is dried and stored through various procedures like dehydration, retort processing, and eradiation.
Dr. Jaishankar added that special care has to be taken in the packing and the food item should be of limited weight but at the same time should be high in nutritional qualities.
“All these nutritional aspects that is required for the space and other things, that our R and D (Research and Development) aspects is taking care of and we are well equipped with for the taking care of all these nutritional aspects in terms of macro nutrients or micro nutrients or anything for that matter. And we are doing all the chemical and microbiological packaging studies in such a way to get a optimum product, best quality product, that suits to all the requirement,” said Dr.Jaishankar.
The DRDO had initial success in this, by making biscuits, pastries and dried juice. Now it has been able to formulate even chicken biryani, lemon rice and various Indian cuisines that can be supplied to astronauts.
The food laboratory of the DRDO has also designed special containers for these processed food items.