Researchers from IIT Kharagpur have developed a novel formula for a vegetable oil powder to keep the heart-healthy. The innovation, led by Hari Niwas Mishra from the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, involved tailoring vegetable oils through the preparation of oil blends that are inherently endowed with natural antioxidants and well-balanced fatty acids.
PUFA-rich oil powder
“The novelty of the research team is in its formulation of a nutritionally balanced polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) enriched with antioxidants and producing a synergistic vegetable oil blend. We have developed a novel process to protect the lipids from oxidation by microencapsulating with appropriate materials,” explained Mishra.
The researchers (Monalisha Pattnaik and Mousumi Ghosh) believe that PUFA-rich oil powder will find extensive use in replacing dairy fat in bakeries and confectionaries. “There is already a shortage of dairy fat which can not only be compensated by this product but also have a healthy impact particularly mitigating heart-related diseases on the consumers,” researchers added.
Congratulating the researchers, Virendra Tewari, director, IIT Kharagpur, said, “Even after seven decades nutritious and healthy food are seen as lifestyle products due to affordability issue and lack of awareness. But under the holistic approach in the present scenario, we must remove this bias which is a toll on the health of millions in this country. This product answers this call by making available PUFA and antioxidant-rich vegetable oil for mass-scale consumption by large sections of the population especially in the lower-income groups, who are otherwise forced to buy oil with saturated fats due to their low prices.”
The institute also informed that the innovation has already been patented and is ready for commercialization at low costs. The researchers have received several awards for this product including Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2020. This work has been recognized for Young Student Invention and the best thesis work in IIT Kharagpur.