Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) is one of the premier Research, Development and Educational institutions established in 1950 under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi. The location of the CFTRI at Mysore was made possible by the Mysore Government’s offer of the Cheluvamba Mansions, a royal building surrounded by a huge estate. The selection of Mysore city for its location was the result of the efforts of the then Chief Minister of Mysore Shri K.C.Reddy and its founder-Director Dr.V.Subramanyan. The other plus points for CFTRI’s location in Mysore were the city’s facilities for water and power, salubrious climate, academic environment, proximity to IISc and other R&D institutions at Bangalore, etc. CFTRI and Mysore have grown so much, independently as well as mutually, that the founders’ hopes on the location of the Institute stand wholly justified today.Mysore city is well connected by road and rail to the state capital Bangalore which is about 135 km away in the north.
The havoc caused by the second world war and the Bengal famine of 1943 awakened the Government, resulting in the coming together of the Industrial Research Planning Committee of the CSIR and the Food Industries Panels of various Ministries in the formation of a food technology research institute, as part of the CSIR chain of national laboratories. Finally in October 1950, CFTRI was declared open by Mr. C.Rajagopalachari, the then Home Minister in the Government of India, and Dr. V. Subrahmanyan became the first Director of the institute. CFTRI thus became a reality as a constituent institute of CSIR and its third national laboratory. A few scientists who were trained in food processing from reputed institutions abroad were appointed to initiate research and train freshers for R & D work.
Its formulation, in its initial years of breakthrough of a baby food from buffalo’s milk, launched India into the galaxy of advanced countries producing baby food from their own technologies. Amul is a baby food based on the CFTRI technology, which has resulted in saving foreign exchange in terms of crores. Another important breakthrough is the institute’s development of economically cheap but nutritionally rich foods such as weaning foods, based on protein isolated from edible oilseed meals which were till then being used as cattle feed or just discarded.
CFTRI has produced and provided technologies resulting in the development of indigenous food industries and played a notable role in the socio-economic transformation of the nation.
Other milestones are:
- Establishment of the International Food Technology Training Centre (IFTTC) in collaboration with FAO
- Selection by the UNU as an Associated Institution
- Recognition by the University of Mysore for PG studies and research in food technology, food science and allied disciplines
- Adoption by the National Information System for Science & Technology (NISSAT) as a sectoral information centre (NICFOS) for food science and technology in India
- Establishment of a state-of-the-art pilot plant
- Establishment of the International School of Milling Technology: An Indo-Swiss venture
CFTRI after 50 years
CFTRI today stands out among the largest and most diversified R & D laboratories in the world. With just 3 persons at the beginning, it has now over 300 scientists, technologists and engineers, and over 400 technicians, skilled workers and support staff on its payroll.
Like other institutes and laboratories of CSIR, CFTRI has a Management Council and a Research Council to oversee its activities. Both the Councils have a 3-year term.