FOODS AND NUTRITION are essential for maintaining good health and to prevent disease. Although
food occupies the first position in the hierarchical needs of man, ignorance of many basic facts relating
to foods and nutrition is still widespread. Consequently, various nutritional disorders for which there
are simple remedies such as blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency persist. Good nutrition is a
function of both economics and education. In our country, the most serious form of nutritional disorder
is undernutrition arising from inadequate purchasing power. However, even when purchasing power is
adequate to access balanced nutrition, various forms of imbalance in dietary intake occur due to lack of
The culinary art of which we are justifiably proud, has placed organoleptic considerations as the
sole criteria of excellence. The various opportunities for accomplishing balanced nutrition through
synergistic interaction within the components of diet have not received the consideration they deserve.
I am, therefore, happy that Dr. Sumati R. Mudambi and Dr. M.V. Rajagopal have taken the trouble of
revising their excellent book Fundamentals of Foods and Nutrition and added Diet Therapy in the fifth
edition of the book. The book covers all the important areas which ought to be taken into consideration
while promoting good nutrition in health and disease.
The knowledge of foods and nutrition is essential for teachers, health professionals, students of
home sciences and health sciences and civil society organizations engaged in fighting endemic and
The revised edition with the addition of diet therapy will be a valuable book for the use of dietetics
and nursing students. It will also be a valuable guide and reference book for physicians and other health
professionals. The book of Dr. Mudambi and Dr. Rajagopal will make an important contribution to
accelerating the pace of achieving good nutrition in health and disease.
The publication of the revised version is timely.
THERE HAS been a long felt need for a book on the fundamentals of foods and nutrition for the
students preparing for the Higher Secondary School of Certificate Examinations of both the Central
and State Boards of Education. Neither do the students of nutrition in the first year of Home Science
colleges have any compact Indian book on this subject. Most of the colleges usually recommend
American textbooks because of the absence of any suitable Indian book in this area. The American
books, however, discuss the subject with reference to the needs of an economy different from ours
with the result that students do not learn anything about the applications of nutrition to Indian conditions.
This book covers the subjects of applications of the findings of the food science and nutrition to
Indian conditions and at the same time discusses in simple language all the basic principles of foods and
nutrition. Figures and tables have been used profusely to bring home to the beginner all aspects of
foods and nutrition. For the more inquisitive and interested student references to advanced books are
given in the bibliography. Through painstaking research, knowledge has been acquired about the nutrition
needs of people. It is the aim of this book to motivate teachers and students to make use of this
knowledge and bring about a change in the health and welfare of our people.
(i) Basic Nutrition (Chapters 1 and 2).
(ii) Food Selection and Preparation (Chapters 3, 4 and 5)
(iii) Meal Planning (Chapters 6, 7 and 8)
(iv) Disorders of Malnutrition (Chapter 9)
(v) Food Preservation (Chapters 10 and 11)
(vi) Safeguarding the Food Supply (Chapters 12, 13 and 14)
It is hoped that this book will help our readers to understand:
1. Functions of foods, which supply our nutritional needs.
2. How to meet human need of nutrients in terms of available foods.
3. Prices are guides of supply and demand and not of their nutritive value.
4. Techniques of preparation which help us meet our needs in an enjoyable manner.
5. Meal planning as a tool in meeting nutritional needs of the family through acceptable enjoyable
6. Preservation as an aid to improved food availability.
7. Safeguarding the supply through proper selection, careful storage and preparation.
8. One’s responsibilities as a consumer.
The difficulties encountered by foods and nutrition teachers, due to lack of an appropriate Indian
text, were brought to our notice by the teachers, who attended the NCERT Summer Workshops
conducted by one of us (SRM) at the Lady Irwin College in 1978. It prompted us to complete this
book, which we had started writing, on a priority basis.
Great care has been taken to ensure that no mistakes have crept into the book. However, if there
are any which have escaped our scrutiny, we would welcome corrections from our readers.
We are grateful to the Director, National Institute of Nutrition for supplying the figurs 9.2, 9.3,
9.4, 9.5, 9.6, and 9.7, to Messrs Voltas Limited for figures 3.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 12.4 and 14.1 and to
Messrs Balsara & Company for figure 12.2.
We are grateful to late Dr. Leela Phadnis, Professor of Foods & Nutrition, Vanasthali Vidyapeeth,
Vanasthali, Rajasthan, Dr. S.S. Ajagaonkar, former President, All-India Institute of Diabetes, Bombay
and to late Dr. V. Nagarajan, Assistant Director-General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New
Delhi, for their careful appraisal of the manuscript and valuable suggestions.
We sincerely appreciate the assistance of our sons Anand and Shyam, who corrected typescripts
and prepared the glossary for us.
Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
Unesco Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology & Chairman,
M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation,
Chennai 600113.download file at http://adf.ly/7055/diet1