Led by Professor Hari Niwas Mishra from the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, the team including Monalisha Pattnaik and Dr Mousumi Ghosh from the Food Chemistry and Technology lab, in IIT Kharagpur has discovered a new vegetable oil that keeps the heart healthy. The item has already been patented and is prepared for commercialisation at a cheap price in the market.
The researchers have been awarded with multiple awards for making product including the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2020. IIT Kharagpur statement says that this product has been recognised for Young Student Invention and best thesis work in the institute.
“The team is working incessantly towards providing low-cost healthy foods to a wider section of the society,” the IIT statement added.
Prof. Mishra said: “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.” He also stated: “We have developed a novel process to protect the lipids from oxidation by microencapsulating with appropriate materials.”
The IIT Kharagpur statement further stated: “Oils vary significantly in their fat saturation. The healthiest are those containing mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are healthy for the heart. The role of such fats is widely known in reducing low density lipoprotein or harmful blood cholesterol.”
Praising the researchers, Professor Virendra Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur added: “Even after seven decades nutritious and healthy food are seen as lifestyle products due to affordability and awareness.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.”