The centre of excellence for grain sciences started with a strong knowledge base in grain science, especially toward paddy. The National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management – Thanjavur (NIFTEM–T) was started as Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC) way back in 1968 to salvage the wet season paddy (Kurivai) and to evolve newer techniques in paddy processing until 2002 and was extended to other grains like pulses, millets and oilseeds. This centre has brought up simple adoptable technologies at farm to big industry level. The centre has a record of standardizing the outturn ratio of paddy to rice and has been a strong knowledge advisor to the organizations like FCI, SWC etc., involved in the public distribution of food grains, thus maintaining the balance for food production to food security. The research result has helped in branching its ability to put up many processes and product development. The centre is also involved in developing the protocols for standardizing different testing quality parameters in nutrients analysis and quality assessment of pre-release varieties. Facility for quality evaluation and milling of millets and pulses, processing of oilseeds also included.
Centre of excellence for grain sciences in association with leading industry aims to train students and professionals involved in grain milling, conduct innovative research, and provide solutions to issues faced by the milling industry. This centre also seeks to provide human resources, skill development and a continuous knowledge platform for Government procurement and public distribution authorities to process paddy, millets, pulses and oilseeds.
Major outcome of center in the past:
- Salt spray techniques to preserve paddy harvested during wet season.
- Prevention of spoilage in high moisture paddy.
- Safe storage techniques from farm level to bulk storage of food grains.
- Parboiling techniques – Double steaming, short soaking tempering techniques, pressure parboiling, modernized rice milling.
- By product value addition.
- Design and development of low friction huller, bran stabilizer, rice de-germer, grain puffing machine, pulse conditioner, multi-purpose yard drying implement.
- Novel food chain using by-product of milling for enhancing milling industries.
- Focus of inclusive growth by accomplishing overall sustainability, security, skill promotion and economic prosperity in the food grain sector.
- Center for excellence in grain sciences aims at preventing post-harvest losses, enhancing value addition, undertaking research related to industry need and skill development in food grain processing.
- To create state of art milling facility
- Create skill development training center in collaboration with industry
- Establishing collaboration with national and international institutes for joint research and training.
- To act as nodal center for dissemination of technology related to grain sciences
- Creation of green technology to reduce carbon food print
- To study the impact of climate changes on the quality characteristics of food grain.
Machinery available for processing half a tonne capacity “state of art rice parboiling and milling unit” integrated with solar drying system, millet processing unit and dhal milling unit. This department also has extrusion cooking unit.