The IBSD organised training for promoting traditional foods of Mizoram know as Bekang-Um

Shillong, May 16: The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Mizoram Centre organized training on “Starter culture-based controlled production of traditional fermented food of Mizoram – Bekang-Um”.

This was done in collaboration with Mizoram Science, Technology and Innovation and Mizoram University under collaborative project funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India.

During the programme, Prof. Pulok Kumar Mukherjee highlighted that IBSD is only the institute in the ambit of Biotechnology Research and Innovation Council (BRIC) under DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India in North Eastern Region of India.

He mentioned that IBSD is working for the development of Bioeconomy from bioresources with special reference to NER to encourage startups in this region. He highlighted that IBSD is not only serving the people of Manipur in Northeast but also has three different Centres at Aizawl in Mizoram,Gangtok in Sikkim and Shillong in Meghalaya.

While delivering his speech,Director, IBSD highlighted about Bekang-Um, a traditional fermented soybean food of Mizoram, produced by natural fermentation and consumed by local people in the state.

He mentioned that IBSD is working in collaboration with MISTIC and Mizoram University on “Starter culture-based controlled production of Bekang-Um” and developed a dry powdered formulation and shortening the fermentation period with improved quality, safety and health benefits.  He highlighted other research activities and outreach programmes of IBSD for promoting the bioresources of this region.

Bekang-Um, a traditional fermented soybean product of Mizoram, is produced by an old-age indigenous process of natural fermentation generally in a winnowing tray/basket (thlangra) for three days.

Several incidents of food poisoning and outbreaks are reported by the state Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) due to consumption of   Bekang-Um.

Their study revealed the presence of both beneficial and harmful bacteria in the naturally fermented Bekang-Um. The primary beneficial bacteria present inBekang-Um is Bacillus subtilis. Therefore, introducing a defined beneficial bacteria starter culture-based controlled fermentation will enhance the safety of the marketed Bekang-Um.

They developed an activated starter culture of Bacillus subtilisin dry powered formulation and shortening the fermentation period to one day. This process assures safety, reproducible uniform quality products and several heath benefits.

Prof. Mukherjee along with scientists of IBSD, MISTIC and Mizoram University interacted with different stockholders, beneficiaries and encouraged them to promote traditional fermented foods with scientific validation for the development of startups in the state.

Dr. Lalchhandami Tochhawng, Scientific Officer, MISTIC highlighted that different stockholders and entrepreneurs are benefited through such training programmes to promote traditional fermented foods. Dr. K. Jeyaram, Scientist, IBSD demonstrated hands on training on fermentation process for the production of Bekang-um using stater culture to all stockholders & entrepreneurs.

Many stockholders & entrepreneurs from Mizoram, faculties, scientists, scholars from MISTEC, Mizoram University, IBSD, Imphal, IBSD, Sikkim and IBSD, Mizoramparticipated during the programme.


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