SME - A few thoughts to ponder over

14 Jun 2018
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SME CORNER Expert column
Dr Raghavarao K S M S, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru

SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE INDUSTRIES - A FEW THOUGHTS TO PONDER OVER
Dr Raghavarao K S M S, Director, CSIR-CFTRI

Food processing is unique and different compared to any other industry say chemical or electronics etc. This is mainly because food is for human consumption, so special attention has to be paid for appearance, texture, color, taste while ensuring nutrients are not lost during processing. Food is complex as it has various components such as proteins, fat, minerals, vitamins, sugars, high moisture. During processing these constituents interact with each other and moisture loss occurs normally causing shrinkage of product. Hence, the properties such as thermal conductivity, diffusivity, porosity do not remain constant and vary with processing time and temperature.

Most of the food processing occurs in small and medium scale industry. Only small portion is processed in large scale industries including multinationals. Small and medium scale industries have the degrees of freedom to select niche market products and also process different types of products that have similar unit operations. This flexibility enables them to process seasonal agri-produce and they should exploit this to a large extent possible.

Having relatively low scale of operation, they have the opportunity to put strict vigil on the quality control. Quality sells in the market by word of mouth without shelling large amounts of money on advertisements. Special attention has to be paid for packaging and labeling to make the product appealing to customers.

Small and medium scale industries should develop a good distributions network and establish direct contact with customers for accurate feedback by digital communication channels. This enables to incorporate changes in a dynamic mode keeping the customer’s requirements as prime focus.

We depart virtually only to meet again soon to share or ponder over some more aspects that are relevant to small and medium scale industries.