Food Processing Industries of Bihar

The Bengal Preserving company was the  first cannery in India, which was  started in Muzaffarpur in the first years of the 20th century by A.B. Sircar after he returned following the training in the USA.









Display of preserves of The Bengal Preserving company,Muzaffarpur in1916

The varieties of fruits grown in the district of Muzaff'arpur were processed and canned there by means of secondhand machinery bought from New York, including the sterilization plant, driven by steam.This firm was established as early as in 1841 and a century later styled itself as Government contractors and Purveyors to kings, princes and other notables and manufactures and exporters of the celebrated mango brand canned products and condiments etc.

The annual output was about one hundred thousand bottles and tins,and large stocks of all kinds of preserves
were kept in a very fine storeroom. An overhead tank was installed for holding a sufficient quantity of water for use throughout the factory, and the utmost cleanliness was observable in every branch of work. Tins to contain jam were made on the premises, and were packed for dispatch in boxes, each containing two dozen.Some 25 categories of products were offered with numerous items under each.
There were, for example no less than 15 items under canned fruits 25 under canned vegetables 4 canned soups 15 pickles,several preserves of both fruit and vegetables 7 sauces and 16 chutneys.


Kolkata was the principal market for these goods, although a considerable quantity had been exported to London and the Continent of Europe and also to  to the United States of America.The preserving season continued during the months of May, June, July, and August, and about seventy hands were required during this portion of the year.A branch had been opened in kolkata for the sale of jams, jellies, chutneys, and condiments of all kinds.

Bibliography
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  • BENGAL AND ASSAM 
    BEHAR AND ORISSA (1917)-
    Their History, People, Commerce, and Industrial Resource 
    Compiled by 
    SOMERSET PLAYNE,The Foreign and Colonial Compiling and Publishing Co.27 pilgrim street, LONDON, E.G.
  • Economic Development in India under British Crown,1858-1947,W.J.Macpherson , University of Cambridge
  • I bid-Indian ETD Repository,History of Food Processing.
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