Stipendium Hungaricum

Ayaz Mukarram Shaikh, a young professional from India, graduated from the University of Debrecen as a certified food safety engineer. He began his master's course in Hungary in 2016, under the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme. He obtained his BSc in Food Technology from MIT College, India, in 2015. Currently, he is working as an R&D engineer for the Mrida Group, India, but the research he conducts in Hungary ties him to Debrecen.

Developing New Grain Crops by Former Stipendium Hungaricum Student

The road to success

The University of Debrecen, in cooperation with the Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, has successfully produced the Indian version of pearl barley. This work was greatly supported by Prof. Dr. István Komlósi, Prof. Dr. László Zsombik, Ashish Wele, Ayaz Mukarram Shaikh, Roshni Kadam and Vivien Nagy. This research team developed an iron-rich version of pearl barley, which needs much less water than its original kind, and therefore it also presents a great achievement in terms of environmental protection.

The team has also developed a new kind of sorghum and amaranth in the experimental farm of the Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, in cooperation with an international research institute (ICRISAT). Prof. Dr. László Zsombik and PhD. student Vivien Nagy provided professional assistance to the work, and Mr. Ashish Wele, guest lecturer at the University of Debrecen, also monitored the development process.

21 new products

Due to the achievements, Ayaz Mukarram Shaikh, member of the Alumni Hungary Network, former Stipendum Hungaricum scholarship student, and Roshni Ashok Kadam developed 21 new products using various types of millet. The Mrida Group from India provided professional support to the product development, human resources to this major project, and seeks to help the success of the development by finding more investors in the future.

The speciality of the products developed is that even those with strong food intolerance can consume them. That's how Mrida Group and Debrecen-based FreFrom Hungary Ltd. are interconnected. The whole of their portfolio is gluten, milk derivative and egg free, and most of it does not even contain sugar or yeast. Based on the declaration of intent on cooperation between the two companies, they plan to launch a product portfolio, to be tested in the Hungarian market, and then they will consider launching the new products in the world market under a common brand name.

A Shower of Awards

Due to their persistent work, Ayaz and Roshni won the Health Venture competition of the European Institute of Technology (EIT Food Jumpstarter). Their millet-based product concept called 'Mrida' and their start-up business plan were awarded gold medal by the jury; moreover, the product line has already raised interest among investors, so business incubation can as well begin in the near future. The two former students were invited to the business development training of Health Venture Budapest, and the "Mrida" product concept and the start-up business plan were nominated for the EIT world competition by the jury. The team was also nominated for a number of other awards. 

Last modified: 20-05-2020