IRCTC Partners with DRDO Labs to Provide High Grade Ready-To-Eat Food For Passengers
In the last few months, IRCTC announced a slew of partnerships with leading ecommerce portals and global food and beverage companies for providing high quality food items for their passengers. Their partnerships with KFC, Dominos, Chaayos and FoodPanda suggested that IRCTC will now no longer care for their passengers’ gastronomical needs during their travels.
Besides, when Indian Rail announced the demise of legendary pantry cars, thereby ending a tradition and culture which only train lovers would understand, it meant that passengers would be facing some tough time when it comes to food.
However, in a fresh bid to rejuvenate their own professional commitment in providing high quality, fresh food to passengers, IRCTC has now joined forces with Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) which means that IRCTC is indeed serious about food.
IRCTC-DFRL Partnership For Fresh Food
DFRL is an defense laboratory and research unit under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which mainly researches in the area of food science, and packaging meant for armed forces.
IRCTC has partnered with DFRL to transfer high quality food processing and packaging technology and use it to deliver steaming hot, fresh ready to eat food items to rail passengers.
A K Manocha, CMD, IRCTC, said, “Apart from conducting some sample surveys and feedback on IRCTC managed trains, the launch for commercial sale is also on the anvil. The launch of ready-to-eat items will offer variety and hygienic food which will eventually reduce complaints from the travelling passengers,”
What Can Passengers Expect
DFRL has developed a special kind of flexible polymeric films for packaging ready to eat food items, which can be warmed instantly by dipping in hot water or in some case, simply by exposing it to warm air. The speed with which Indian Railways’ train move, this won’t be a difficulty to warm food instantly.
In the 1st week of July, IRCTC will roll out 36,000 packages of food items such as Vegetable Biryani, Rajma-Chawal, Jeera Rice, Tamrind Rice, Lemon Rice, Wheat Upma, Dal Rice and Chicken Biryani in small 150-200 grams packet, which would be ready to eat and hygienic as per defense standards.
Thanks to the research of DFRL, these food items would have a shelf life of 6 months.
Besides these initiatives, IRCTC is also planning to tie-up with Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) for setting new standards in food quality control and packaging.
IRCTC is the only ecommerce venture in India which posts profits; in 2015, they posted profits of Rs 130 crore against revenues of Rs 20,000 crore (which included tickets and food)
Image: Flickr.com / Chris9