Wheat Industry Leaders and Nutrition Experts Converge in Hyderabad for Health and Wellness Seminars

The Wheat Products Promotion Society (WPPS), in collaboration with co-organizers, co-sponsors, knowledge partners, associate partners, and industry supporters, successfully hosted the Seminar on Wheat and Wheat Products for Health and Wellness in Hyderabad. This seminar marked the first physical meeting post-COVID after a gap of several years.

The WPPS is an apex organization representing all stakeholders in wheat and wheat-based foods. With the surge of growth in each segment of the value chain, the need for coordinated work in wheat quality, farm productivity, reduction in wastages, efficiency in processing, utilization, popularization of wheat consumption, and more were of growing concern. WPPS has effectively provided much-needed interactions by meetings, seminars, focused discussions with decision-makers, surveys and studies, training in skill development, and such need-based programs across the country.

India has the largest wheat production in the world and is the largest biscuit producer in wheat-based processed foods. Hyderabad has long been a significant center of excellence in wheat processing, bakery technology, nutrition, and innovation.

Commenting about the occasion, Mr. Ajay Goyal, Chairman, Wheat Products Promotion Society (WPPS), said, "As we work towards food security in India, we must also prioritize nutrition security. Wheat-based foods have the potential to be a major source of both macro and micronutrients, and this seminar is an important step towards unlocking that potential. The wheat industry in India is diverse and dynamic, with a range of large and small-scale producers and processors. It is crucial that we work together to ensure that wheat-based foods meet the changing needs of consumers for nutrition, health, and convenience,"

During the seminar, experts discussed the importance of wheat and wheat products for health and wellness. Depending on the amount and quality of grains consumed within adult populations, grains are an essential source of energy, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, folate, iron, calcium, and selenium. It is important to note that cereal protein costs are lower vis a vis other protein sources such as pulses and animal meat. Functionality and improving digestibility were discussed in the technical sessions.

The days sessions were designed by the committee involving all stakeholders. The panels were in four sessions, namely Processed wheat products for meeting the changing consumer needs - Nutrition Health and Convenience, Composition and compositional shift during the production of variety flours, Wheat and Wheat Products for Sustainable Food Security, and Role of Innovation in Technology and Business potential.

Participants included delegates from large food industries and wheat-based and related industries, as well as key persons from research, science, and development fields. They contributed greatly to the benefit of the participants.

“Malnutrition is an area of concern for the country in both macro and micronutrients. Macro needs can be met with food sources. However, there is a need to stress on micronutrients too. Food security will overtime include Nutrition security. Research is ongoing on increasing the concentration of micronutrients in staple food crops through conventional plant breeding or genetic engineering as a means to reduce micronutrient deficiency,”

“In the future, closer linkages must be forged between the agricultural community, the nutrition and health communities, and government policymakers to ensure that agricultural policies meet nutrition and health goals. If agricultural systems cannot meet the nutritional needs of consumers, then food systems will always be dysfunctional since agriculture is the primary producer of nutrients,” He added.

Overall, the Seminar on Wheat and Wheat Products for Health and Wellness was a resounding success, with fruitful discussions on the importance of wheat in the food basket, its potential for employment and entrepreneurship at the local levels, and its role in achieving nutrition security in the country.

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