Today’s success story : Started after 10 years of job named ‘Beti’, Noodles Masala made from Mushroom, packaging from straw
Pooja started Biotech Era Transforming India (BETI) in the year 2017 to fight malnutrition and pollution. With the help of which she is working on innovative ideas related to health by cultivating mushrooms. Having more than 15 years of field knowledge, Pooja never wanted to confine her work to the pages of research.
Mushrooms become a solution to malnutrition and pollution
Pooja and her husband Pradeep were watching their daughter grow up amidst the air pollution. One of the major reasons behind air pollution is the pollution caused by stubble in winter every year. Pooja says that now every year we see people getting troubled by the smoke coming from the stubble. Government pollution and farmers are troubled by stubble. We understand the problems of both very well and wanted to find a solution in between. I have been doing research on different things for a long time. I knew very well that the solution to both these things could be mushrooms.
Mushroom can be easily cultivated in straw, as well as it is also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition. We started vertical cultivation of mushroom. Which can be easily included in the diet as well as used in making medicines for various diseases including obesity, sugar and blood pressure. Especially button mushrooms can be used in food. Whereas the medicinal use of oyster mushroom is very high.
Pooja and her husband converted the ground floor of the house into a lab and started growing mushrooms. His daughter with the mushroom harvest.
Stubble packaging model
Puja and Pradeep were now able to deal with the problem of malnutrition and to some extent also with the problem of stubble, but their goal of reducing pollution was still not being fulfilled. The reason was the thermocol packaging being used for their product, but soon they solved this problem as well. Pooja says, prepared a model of packaging from the waste used in mushroom cultivation and the stubble collected by the farmers. ‘
Referring to this model, she says, ‘We have replaced the thermocol trays and packets used to pack fruits, vegetables with packaging prepared from stubble and agro waste. We have prepared a machine, in which the packing of mushroom mycelium (fungus) has been prepared in the lab. The special thing is that it is many times lighter in weight than the packaging used in the market and it does not harm the nature either. There is no harm to nature either. Not only this, after using them, they can also be used as manure in trees and fruits. ‘
Cheap model made for farmers of India
Pooja, who did her PhD in Biotechnology, wanted to help farmers. She says that earlier we had handmade technology, but now we work with the help of machines. We are working on microorganism using biotechnology. Farmers in developed countries like China have been using this technology for a long time. Along with better technology there, farmers also have a lot of money.
But we have prepared a cheap and effective model for the farmers of India. It takes at least 1 crore rupees to get the same work done abroad, whereas now the farmers of India are able to do it easily with the help of fungus and microorganism. It is a sustainable and low-cost technology.
Pooja has so far trained more than 300 farmers on mushroom cultivation.
From Mushroom Noodles to Spices to Pickles
Pooja tells that the mushroom industry in India has not yet fully grown. Even if some people cultivate it, they do not have information about its processing. That’s why we have made its products along with farming. We have prepared Commercial Mushroom Span (Seeds), Direct Mushroom Products into Powder, Fresh and Dried Oyster Mushrooms Fresh and Dried Oyster Mushrooms and Value Added Products in Spices, Pickles and Soups from the laboratory.
Lab start from home
Pooja has worked as a researcher in a well-known company in Mumbai. Pooja, who has been a part of this industry for 15 years, says – I always wanted to do work related to nutrition. I left the job and returned home from Mumbai to Indore. When I came back home, there was talk of taking the family forward in the family.
‘ I thought about this a lot and asked my daughter Ira whether she wants a brother or a sister? Ira’s answer to this was- Sister. I gave a sister to my daughter i.e. Ira through my startup ‘Beti’. I converted the ground floor of the house into a lab and started ‘Beti’.
Pooja did not want to limit her research to paper and lab only. She has given more than 300 farmers and many research training till now.
Prepared Noodles Masala Substitute
Talking about her new achievement, Pooja says, “We have created a desi and healthy version like Maggi Masala. Children have a habit of fast food, but it is very harmful for their health. That’s why we have prepared a seasoning called Sum-Mor ready for noodles and pasta from mushrooms and drumstick leaves. The flavor of Hu-B-Hoo Noodles Masala, this condiment is made from mushrooms and moringa powder. Both come in super food and are very beneficial for health.
It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Iron. Mushroom is rich in Ajinomoto, it is also used in Maggi masala. Mushroom is its natural supplement and children like it very much.
How do you prepare packaging?
We first use Agriculture Waste in Mushroom Cultivation. After this microbial treatment is done. Due to which the material becomes soft. The processing then begins in which the paste is poured into a mold to give it shape and texture. The packets removed from the mold are dried in solar and oven. So that there is no moisture in it. At present, the daughter’s team is preparing these eco-friendly bags by hand.
Pooja wants to take this model to as many people as possible. Started at a cost of one lakh rupees, this startup is doing business of more than 10 lakhs every year. Even more important than that, Pooja is making people aware of a healthy future through this.