Calcutta, Aug. 8: Pop a rasogolla to improve your eyesight. Dig into mishti doi to aid and abet digestion. A diabetic’s dream come true'
Its all possible if the rasogolla is laced with carrot and the doi is fortified with tulsi. Medicinal mishti is poised to hit the shelves, thanks to years of research conducted by a sweetmeat veteran in association with the food technology department of Jadavpur University (JU).
Carrot rasogollas are already on offer, with high protein soy and “acid balancing” beet variations to follow suit. Carrot sandesh, Spandan Sandesh Arjun to enhance “heart beat, vitality and vigour”, brahmi laced sandesh to “boost memory” and kulekhara sandesh which purports to be anti-anaemic will also be released later this month.
“We have been researching ways to enrich traditional Bengali sweets,” explains Rabindra Kumar Paul, managing partner of Hindusthan Sweets in Jadavpur, who announced the new line on Friday. After the initial development was complete, the creators tied up with the JU food technology wing to certify the beneficial properties.
The herb yoghurt — which can be made with tulsi, mango leaves or bel leaves — has already been patented by Paul and the JU scientists. The other products will hit the shelves after an August 26 seminar at the JU chemical engineering department on the “inventions”, to be inaugurated by Pratap Chandra Chunder.
“These innovations are all based on ayurvedic principles,” says Utpal Raychaudhuri, professor of the food technology department, JU, and one of the certifying researchers.
The herbs, feels Raychaudhuri, are not generally consumed in the powder or paste forms, and most people don’t like mixing them with their meal-time foods. “But in a mishti, they gain the psychological acceptance of the consumer,” he reasons.
The makers claim the additives do not significantly alter the flavour of the old favourites. The enzymes in the foods have been put through laboratory tests, but clinical tests to gauge the effects on humans are yet to be conducted.
The prices of this enhanced range have been kept on a par with the standard sweets.
“We are selling around 250 carrot rasogollas a day. Sellers as far away as Malaysia, Bangladesh and those in other states have expressed interest, too,” reports Paul, whose company exports sweets to Japan.
According to Raychaudhuri, the proteins in chhana are good carriers of micro-nutrients. The JU department is also experimenting with other “nutraceuticals” -- nutrition plus pharmaceuticals – like meats and fish, processed with herbs. Fermenting red meat, he explains, can “modify” the harmful cholesterol “triggering corrective measures in the metabolism”, without hampering “scale of taste and acceptability”. Goat meat, processed with a combination of herbs, may be the next up for taste testing.