The Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in Mysuru has prepared a slew of ready-to-eat dishes tailor-made for India’s space programme Gaganyaan.

The DFRL has prepared about 40 to 50 menus comprising both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items and the trials are in the preliminary stages.

The items include potato-stuffed paratha, vegetable biriyani, dal chawal, sambar chawal, rajma chawal, kichdi, preserved chapatis, veg katti roll, chicken biriyani, chicken katti roll, egg katti roll, chikki, instant tea and coffee mix, sooji halwa, garlic and mango pickle, and tomato sauce.

Some of the technologies developed by the DFRL were on display at the two-day exhibition of technologies and products to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav which commenced here on Monday.

A team of 40 scientists are working on the food menu and based on the feedback of the ISRO and astronauts the products will be finalised.

“In space where there is zero gravity condition, the delivery mechanism should be different and poses a challenge and the scientists are also working on this aspect’’, said Mallesha and Madhukar of DFRL. In zero gravity conditions if juice or any liquid spills out it will keep floating and in case it comes into contact with any electrical systems it can cause problems. Hence there is a different mechanism of delivering the food intake developed by the DFRL, the scientists explained.

Once the menu is finalised the DFRL will supply enough food to last the duration of the mission for three astronauts in addition to emergency stock, said Mr. Madhukar.

The DFRL has developed an array of food products and technologies to cater to the strategic operational requirement of the defence forces and to provide logistical support to it in the area of food supplies. Over the years, more than 600 technology transfers have been carried out to about 320 firms.

In addition to DFRL, the Defence Bioengineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru, was also showcasing some of the technologies and products developed by it at the exhibition. Among the slew of products, a life saving device for the benefit of defence personnel who can suffer High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPO) when deployed in high altitudes to guard the borders, drew attention.

R.G.Revaiah, scientist of DEBEL, said when afflicted by HAPO, the solider has to be sent to lower altitudes but that may not be feasible given the nature and sensitivity of their job and hence on-site treatment has to be given. Inside the HAPO chamber the pressure is increased and this simulates the conditions and benefits that occurs when one is brought to sea level or lower altitudes and the emergency due to HAPO is addressed. DEBEL’s product has been patented, it is easy-to-use and the technology has been transferred to six companies and is being bulk produced for the defence personnel, he added.

DEBEL has also developed Mobile Tele Diagnosis System, Wearable Physical Efficiency Test Monitor, Air Sterilisation System for Biological Emergencies, and Advanced Microclimate Conditioning Suit for Battle Tanks and Submarines.