India’s food industry sector is the most influential segment of the Indian economy. It serves as a critical link between India’s agricultural and industrial sectors, which are two of the country’s most essential elements. Following China, India is the world’s second-largest food producer.
The Indian food sector is on the verge of a massive expansion, with its contribution to global food commerce expanding year after year. Because of its enormous potential for value addition, the food sector in India has emerged as a high-growth and high-profit sector, particularly in the food processing business.
The Government of India, which controls around 32% of the country’s overall food market, has played a key role in the growth and development of the food processing industry. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries, on behalf of the government, is working hard to encourage investment in the industry. It has given its approval to joint ventures, foreign partnerships, industrial licenses, and units that are solely focused on exports.
Solar energy is mostly used for drying processes in the food processing industry. Solar vegetable and fruit dryers that operate at or below 55 degrees Celsius are ideal for this application. Solar technologies have also been developed for a variety of other processes over time. Solar concentrators are the most efficient when it comes to boiling, steaming, blanching, and roasting, while Solar Air Dryers/Heaters are the most efficient when it comes to eliminating moisture. Integration of food processing sector knowledge that has opened prospects for employing alternative renewable energies for post-harvest food processing will take a lot of work.
Process heat and other thermal applications have a lot of promise with solar energy devices and systems. These applications rely heavily on fuel oil, which emits a lot of greenhouse gases and poses a risk to the environment. Every year, India consumes almost 100 million tonnes of oil, with the industrial sector accounting for 40% of total consumption. Around 40-50 percent of total consumption is in the thermal temperature range below 250 °C, which equates to about 15 million tonnes of fuel each year. India has seen the fastest increase in oil demand, rising from 15 million to 16.9 million in just 14 months. Refrigeration, drying, and canning are just a handful of the many processes used in the food sector. Because cleanliness and production are the most important factors to consider, solar energy is a significant benefit for this industry.
India’s food and grocery sector is the sixth-largest in the world, with retail accounting for 70% of total sales. The Indian food processing sector, which accounts for 32% of the country’s overall food market and is rated fifth in terms of production, consumption, export, and anticipated growth, is one of the country’s most important industries. It accounts for 8.80 and 8.39% of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture, respectively, as well as 13% of India’s exports and 6% of overall industrial investment. The Indian gourmet food sector is worth US$ 1.3 billion and expanding at a 20% CAGR.
In India, the online meal ordering industry is still in its infancy, but it is rapidly expanding. With online meal delivery companies such as FoodPanda, Zomato, TinyOwl, and Swiggy gaining traction through partnerships, the organized food industry has a bright future. In 2016, the internet meal delivery sector expanded by 150 percent year over year, with a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of US$ 300 million.