Tech takes a sweet turn - Bikalananda Kar Industrial Training Centre in Cuttack to offer one-year course

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By SHILPI SAMPAD
  • Published 4.08.11
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Bhubaneswar, Aug. 3: A popular confectionery of the state has dished out a very sweet idea. In order to revive traditional Oriya sweets and to expand its market, the shop has set up the Bikalananda Kar Industrial Training Centre (BKITC) at Salepur, Cuttack, which will offer a unique one-year course in sweets technology from this year.

The course has been approved by the State Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training and recognised by the Directorate of Technical Education and Training, Orissa. The department of food technology and biochemical engineering of Jadavpur University, Calcutta, will provide technical support.

“Earlier, sweets making formed a small part of training in food craft institutes, but this is for the first time in the country that an independent course in sweets technology has been introduced.

“Technology will be used right from making sweets to packaging and marketing to reduce cost of production,” said Prasanta Kar, founder of Bikalananda Kar Memorial Trust, which established BKITC.

Applications have already started trickling in and admission is expected to be completed by end of August. The intake capacity has been fixed at 64.

The minimum eligibility for the course is matriculation and the fee is Rs 15,000. However, the trust and the Paschimbanga Mistanna Byabasayee Samitee will also provide full scholarships to poor, meritorious students.

Kar said there are more than 500 types of Oriya sweets and the course would involve training in only 140 types, including 60 varieties from the neighbouring state of Bengal. “We have brought out books on these 140 kinds of sweets. The trainees would be taught making sweets using dairy products as well as agricultural products such as dry fruits, wheat, flour, gram flour and so on,” said Bibhuti Bhusan Patra, principal of BKITC. He added the course would also focus on sugar-free sweets.

The syllabus will cover trade theory such as preservation of food and sweets, process technology (good manufacturing practice), quality control in food processing, food microbiology and contaminants, wastewater treatment, sanitation and hygiene standards, food safety and practical-oriented training.

Talking about the employment prospects, Patra said there is a dearth of skilled labour in the confectionery industry and it would not be difficult for the trainees to secure jobs. “They would be given adequate training in restaurant management. They can start their own business or get employment in five-star hotels which demand a large number of skilled labour for sweets and dessert preparation,” he said.

Utpal Roy Choudhury, head of food technology and biochemical engineering department of Jadavpur University, said he would collaborate with the institute for research in sweets technology. “We want to introduce the concept of functional sweets or nutraceuticals (food products which provide health or medical benefits) by using herbs and nutrients. Research in this regard is already going on and would receive a boost when the institute starts functioning,” Choudhury said.