The Assamese Thali to be enriched by the Delicacy of Fish and Meat Pickle
August 26, 2013 | Jorhat, Assam
The traditional meals of the Assamese generally comprise fish or meat-based items, which also form important sources of proteins for the populace. Though more popular as freshly cooked food, the processed forms of both fish and meat (like pickles) are equally nutritious, yet not available as commercial products in the market. Results of several surveys conducted on the popularity of meat and fish pickle indicate a potential market among the rural and urban population. To address this gap the Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) enabled a women’s self help group adopt the technology of preparing meat and fish pickle from Assam Agricultural University (AAU). This first step into the niche market will help the organization consider new avenues to tap into the opportunity of commercializing novel processed food products in the near future. In addition to adding to the variety of the Assamese plate, these products will ease people’s access to cooked meat and fish, sans the trouble of cooking. The transfer of technology took place between AAU and Meghalee Food Products in Jorhat on 23 August, 2013.

This was followed by an intense two-day training on product development and manufacturing at the facilities of Maghalee covering aspects like recipe, production process, hygiene, quality control, ingredient specification, regulatory aspects, food safety measures, labeling, pricing and product distribution strategy. A pilot batch of both chicken and fish pickle were prepared under the guidance of the developers.

The recipe of the meat pickle was developed by Prof. Mineswar Hazarika while that of the fish was developed by Prof. Pran Jyoti Sharma and his team (Prof Jiten Sharma and Prof Sarifuddin Ahmed), all hailing from AAU. After thorough research on the quality, palatability and durability of the products, the prototypes of the pickles were developed with financial support from AIP. These prototypes were used for internal testing to judge the suitability of the product and showcasing to small scale entrepreneurs and encouraging them to take them up for commercialization. Maghalee, which is among the emerging enterprises in the region, was identified as the potential player to whom the technology could be transferred and later commercialized.

This process has set the precedence for many more such university and industry partnerships in future and has motivated many researchers to develop high potential products and inspired small scale entrepreneurs to come forward and take up these products to improve their income and profitability.

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