Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director and Ms. Mridula Kottekate, Assistant Director of ICC visited the National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science & Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India on 3rd March 2023 and met Dr. Anandharamakrishnan, Director, NIIST and his team of researchers.
Meeting was arranged with some researchers of NIIST from various scientific disciplines. Researchers from the Agro-Processing and Technology, and the Materials Science and Technology divisions presented the different research activities and products developed that is conducted in collaboration with national and international institutions. Dr. Anandharamakrishnan introduced his team and informed that around 80 researchers and 300 Ph.D students are attached with the institute. The institute is providing capacity building to the start-ups and interested farmers and stakeholders and even to the vocational teachers of the schools. The institute has developed different products from the biodegradable wastes including coconut and coir and now looking forward to the commercialization of the products. The campus is maintained fully plastic free Eco-Campus.
The division of Agro-Processing and Technology division already developed the products from neera and virgin coconut oil. They are now working on vegan products developing from coconut milk, cream and MCT oil. Director added that the institute is moving from basic science to applied science and on waste utilisation. Atomization and nutritive aspects of coconut products are their future plan including processing of coconut milk and coconut water.
He expressed his willingness to collaborate with ICC in any capacity building and other research activities related to coconut and its value-added products.
Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, expressed her gratitude to Director for giving an opportunity to visit him and the institute and acknowledged all support and assistance rendered by Dr. Anandharamakrishnan as a resource speaker in many of the virtual webinar series organized by ICC in association with NAM-CSSTC and ITC. He was also a member of the committee and chaired the meeting called by ICC to finalise the ICC Quality Standards for the various coconut products. She requested the director to assist ICC and to become member of ICC-Scientific Advisory Committee on Health considering his expertise and experience.
There were in detail discussion on different aspects related to the coconut and its value-added products and how to make this sector more sustainable. Dr. Anandharamakrishnan appreciated the initiative taken by ICC in finalising and updating the quality standards of coconut products and assured that he and his team will fully support for the future programs of ICC. He also expressed his willingness to host any of ICC future program in India.
The meeting concluded with exchange of mementos.