Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India, has developed an Indian Standard, IS 17693: 2022 for ‘non-electric cooling cabinet made of clay’.
Named as ‘Mitticool refrigerator’, Shri Mansukh Bhai Prajapati from Gujarat is the innovator behind the refrigerator which projects an eco-friendly technology.
BIS standard specifies the construction and performance requirements of a cooling cabinet made out of clay, which operates on the principle of evaporative cooling. These cabinets may be used to store perishable foodstuff without the need of electricity.
This standard helps BIS in fulfilling 6 out of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like No poverty, Zero hunger, Gender equality, Affordable and clean energy, Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, and Responsible consumption and production.
It is a natural refrigerator made primarily from clay to store vegetables, fruits, milk, and also for cooling water. It provides natural coolness to foodstuffs stored in it without requiring any electricity. Fruits, vegetables, and milk can be stored reasonably fresh without deteriorating their quality.
The efficacy of the product is boundless. To name a few, it is playing an influential role in reviving the pottery culture, tradition, and heritage; connecting people back to roots in better healthier ways; promoting sustainable consumption; economically empowering the indigent community; working towards green and cool earth, economic development and employment generation; and finally contributing towards rural women upliftment and making them financially independent.
‘Mitticool Refrigerator’ was exhibited at the 4th batch of Innovations Scholars In-residence Programme held at Rashtrapati Bhawan (2017) in partnership with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) that scouts, supports, and spawns grassroot innovations developed by individuals and local communities in any technological field, helping in product and professional development without any help from the formal sector.
Refrigeration is a food storage technique that prevents bacterial growth whereby increasing its shelf life and making it fit for consumption.
In this era, where the world is dominated by technology and advancement, there are people in our country who still bank on traditional cooling. Clay pots have been an integral part of Indian kitchens until factory-made products of variety of materials invaded the market.