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Good Work Deserves Recognition.

INC Awards program comprises the Golden Nut Award, the Award for Excellence in Gastronomy, the Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation Awards.

Golden Nut Award

Mr. K. Ravindranathan Nair

Vijayalaxmi Cashew Company (VLC)

The Individual Golden Nut Award will be given to Mr. K. Ravindranathan Nair for his indefatigable dedication to the cashew business for more than 40 years and his pivotal role in accelerating the distribution of nuts worldwide.

It was in 1957 when Mr. K. Ravindranathan Nair founded the Vijayalaxmi Cashew Company (VLC). What started as a family business, has turned into a premier trading house in the cashew industry, having earned an international reputation for quality products.

Besides his key role in the nuts industry, Mr. Nair has always been at the forefront of undertaking activities for the benefit of society. Mr. Nair has constructed and donated the building, furniture and books for the Quilon Public Library and Research Centre, one of the largest and most popular libraries in Kerala. He has also donated and constructed a building to house the Pediatric Ward at Kollam District Hospital. While improving the lives of those who are around him, Mr. Nair has also bestowed many school libraries, kindergartens and sports clubs on the community.

Excellence in Research

Dr. Richard Mattes

Dr. Richard Mattes earned an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, as well as a doctorate degree in Human Nutrition from Cornell University. Presently, he is a Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science at Purdue University, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Affiliated Scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. At Purdue University, Dr. Mattes is the Director of the University Public Health Program and the Ingestive Behavior Research Center. 

He has been an active researcher in the area of nuts and health for over 20 years. Most notably, he has helped to characterize the mechanisms that account for the neutrality of nut consumption with respect to energy balance and body weight. He has also conducted work documenting the beneficial effects of nut consumption on cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors.

Excellence in Gastronomy

Bukhara Restaurant, ITC Maurya Hotel

The 2017 Award for Excellence in Gastronomy will be given to Bukhara Restaurant, at the ITC Maurya Hotel, for its contribution to the preservation, improvement and dissemination of Indian cuisine worldwide.
Bukhara is one of the most renowned restaurants in India. The food at Bukhara is cooked in clay ovens or tandoors in the traditional style of the Indian North-West Frontier region. Their chefs are experts in the art of making the breads, gauging spices and mixing marinades, which are a key part of its cuisine. Bukhara Restaurant treasures the world-renowned Dal Bukhara, a combination of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic simmered over a slow coal fire for 18 hours.
Overseen by Chef Singh, the restaurant offers an ethnic experience where the open kitchen is part of the restaurant. While dining, guests are given aprons and are encouraged to eat with their hands so as to experience a blend of feelings driven by the food, its taste, smell and touch. Bukhara Restaurant has been treasuring the flavors of the North-West Frontier region since 1978. It is said that a visit to Bukhara served as a source of inspiration to some artists such as M.F Husain to paint his trademark horse while dining at the restaurant.

Innovation Award

The INC Innovation Award 2017 was bestowed to Qcify Inc., a world leader in the field of automated quality control for the best solutions in the food industry, for its recently launched Quality Inspection System (QiS), the world’s first dedicated system that accurately monitors, analyzes and documents the quality of dried fruits and nuts. This system finally enables full automation of the entire QC department, from sampling all the way to sample inventory management.

The QiS works in a very intuitive way. The sample is into the hopper, the QC process starts at the push of a single button, and in just 6-8 minutes (500g sample) an objective digital report is ready. In comparison, the traditional process of manual QC typically takes about 15-20 minutes, and results heavily vary between staff members. Independent experts and early adaptors praise the extremely high and unprecedented accuracy of the system, together with the low capital expenditure and rapid payback period of less than one year. Both as a stand-alone or in-line system, the compactly sized device requires minimal maintenance and was designed for long-lasting service.

The founders of Qcify, Bert Peelaers and Taf Peeters, collected the prize during the INC Congress in Chennai. Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Bert Peelaers said: “I am glad that there is a recognition in world for our product today. We see this as a thank you for all the nuts and dried fruits processing companies. We believe in the philosophy of developing an application that caters to the need of the industry and we are happy we started early in this process.”

INC wants to thank the other candidates for submitting their products and services for the Innovation Award:
  • Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. (USA): Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend
  • Agri-Neo, Inc. (Canada): Neo-Pure
  • Delta International Co., Ltd. (Japan): Lo-Ca-Bo Nuts for A Week
  • Whitworths, Ltd. (UK): Date and Toasted Almond Shot and Tropical Coconut Shot
  • Mariani Packing Co. (USA): Mariani All Natural Mango
  • Log5 Corporation (Netherlands): Water Activity Controlled Pasteurization
  • DRB Foods Pvt Ltd., California Agri Nuts Corporation (India): Nutty Gritties Thai Chilli Mix
  • Insort GmbH (Austria): Sorting of rancid nuts with Sherlock Air