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Govt to introduce medicinal items in midday meal

New Delhi: As changes in food habit becomes the root cause of many life-threatening diseases, the government has prepared a list of food items with medicinal values that would be used to check nutrient deficiency among children. The move has been initiated by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), a research wing of Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to senior officials in the CSIR, in the list, which has been prepared by scientists of 12 different labs, has that food item that has potential to cure multiple diseases at the beginning.
"The objective of the entire exercise is to provide food items prepared by Ayurvedic formulations to cure diseases on its advent stage. The food items containing spices such as turmeric, pepper, etc would be provided to children to help in boosting body's immunity and save them from getting infected with bacteria or viral diseases," a CSIR official said, adding that the programme, which has been divided into three phases, is in its final stage.
In the first phase, the CSIR has prepared a list of food items with medicinal efficacy such as what amount of turmeric intake would help in curing how many diseases; which are the fruits that can protect children from certain diseases; the different ways to take eat fruits and food items, etc.
While in the second phase, the CSIR would launch the product in the market with the help of private players by providing technical support and in the third phase, the CSIR would chalk out its strategies to make available the foods with medicinal values to poor children at free of cost.
Explaining about the initiative, CSIR's Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) Director Sanjay Kumar said, "The CSIR has several technologies that can control nutrient deficiency among kids such as anti-oxidant tea, products prepared of caterpillar fungus herb (popularly known as keeda jadi) that help in increasing oxygen in the blood. Similarly, a CSIR lab has developed a fungus that helps in controlling protein deficiency in the body."
Kumar further said, "The CSIR has developed several ayurvedic products such as BGR-34, which is proving a great help in curing chronic diabetes diseases. Also, CSIR's ksheer scanner is helping in detecting milk adulteration."

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