Processed Food for Armed Forces: Developed by DRDO

Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore, an establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was established in December 1961 to meet the challenges with respect to food requirements of the Armed Forces and in the process, design and develop rations for special operational situations, peacetime garrison ration, emergency/survival ration, etc. Indian troops often operate in far-flung inhospitable terrain under inclement and hostile weather conditions ranging from sub-zero to 50 oC, and hot and humid areas.

The food requirements for these conditions are entirely different requiring special functional ingredients. DFRL with its strong R&D efforts has not only developed various types of lightweight convenience foods suitable for pack rations for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Paramilitary Forces but also developed indigenous low-cost processing equipment to achieve the same. The various processed foods developed for the Armed Forces do not require elaborate cooking and have shelf-life of 9-12 months under ambient temperature conditions. The various rations, which have become part and parcel of the Armed Forces, include meal ready-to-eat (MRE) for the Army and Navy; emergency/survival rations for the Army, Navy, and Air Force; submarine crew rations; Main Battlefield Tank (MBT) ration; as well as space food. The spin-off benefits of developed technologies/ products have been transferred to 235 firms in the form of 568 technologies. Recently, DFRL has developed various functional and neutraceuticals products suitable for anti-hunger, anti-anxiety, anti-sleep, performance enhancing, etc., to cater to the requirements of the Armed Forces.

Demand for the processed and convenience foods is increasing rapidly due to the increasing awareness about the health, changing socio-economic needs, and insufficient time to cook food with the correct/ balanced amount of nutrition. One such nutritionally balanced convenience food is the nutritious energy bars, which are gaining popularity in the global market after 1980s. Earlier, these energy bars were used by the sport persons who were involved in strong physical activities and therefore, needed greater source of energy during peak performance. But today, due to the increasing focus on the nutrition and healthy food habits and an increasing number of people involved in greater physical activities, energy bars have become a perfect choice as a quality source of energy.

The various technologies, which have been developed through the sustained and dedicated efforts of scientists at DFRL, encompass the following:


  • Retort pouch processing technology

  • High temperature short time (HTST) preservation technology

  • Cold shock dehydration technology

  • Food additive technology

  • Accelerated freeze drying technology

  • Pneumatic drying technology

  • Flaking technology

  • Fluidised bed drying technology

  • Spray drying technology

  • Hurdle process technology

  • Intermediate moisture food processing technology

  • Extrusion technology

  • Compressed food technology

  • Combination dehydration technology

  • Stack encapsulation technology

  • Post harvest technologies for shelf life extension of fresh produce

  • Minimal processing technologies for fresh produce

  • Food irradiation technology

  • High pressure processing technology

  • Pulsed electric field technology

  • Micronisation technology


Ready to eat retort pouch processing technology

  • Vegetable pulav

  • Plain Rice

  • Potato peas curry

  • Rajam curry

  • Dal fry

  • Paneer peas curry

  • Egg curry

  • Chicken curry

  • Chicken pulav

  • Vegetable noodle

  • No preservative chapaties

Other Ready to eat (RTE) products

  • Preserved and flavoured chapathies

  • Short term preserved chapathies

  • Stuffed parothas

  • Appetizers

  • Chicken biscuits

  • Flax cookies

  • Flax munch

  • Coco cocoa delight bar

  • Composite tasty bar

  • Ergogenic bar

  • Flax oat tasty bar

  • High energy bar

  • Omega-3-rich bar

  • Protein rich mutton bar

  • Nutri food bar

  • Sweet & sour tasty bar

Ready to reconstitute / ready to cook products

  • Puff & serve chapathies

  • Instant coconut chutney mix

  • Instant cooking pulses and dal flakes

  • Instant cooking rice

  • Instant dal curries

  • Instant idly sambar mix

  • Instant soji halwa mix

  • Instant upma mix

  • Instant whole pulse and their curries

  • Variety of freeze dried fruit juice powders

  • Sea buckthorn based herbal tea

  • Flavoured Chapattis

  • Sea buckthorn based spiced squash

  • Flax chapathi mix

  • Flax sweet mix

  • Millet kheer mix

  • Millet chapathi mix

  • Millet roti mix

  • Millet dosa mix

  • Millet pakoda mix

  • Millet halwa mix

  • Millet dokla mix

  • Ragi cookie mix

  • Appetizer mix

  • Millet beverage mix

Ready to drink juices and Beverages

  • Tender coconut water

  • Aloe passion drink

  • Brahmi drink

  • Ash gourd juices

  • Alovera juice

  • Vegetable juices