The West Bengal government will soon bring to the market two of Bengal’s most favourite sweets – the roshogolla and pantua – under its popular brand name, Mother Dairy Calcutta.

Roshogolla – small balls of cottage cheese boiled and soaked in light sugar syrup, and pantua – light to dark brown deep fried balls of cottage cheese and semolina dipped in sugar syrup, are both Bengal’s favourite sweets.

Understanding the huge demand for sweets in the state, the West Bengal government owned brand now plans to manufacture and market these two types of sweets to customers in and beyond Bengal.

Apart from eight varieties of milk, Mother Dairy Calcutta manufactures mishti doi (sweet curd), plain and flavoured yoghurt, probiotic doi (yoghurt), ghol (butter milk), paneer, ghee, ice-cream, mango pudding and peda.

According to officials, the manufacturing technology for the soon to be marketed roshogolla and pantua will be provided by the Food Technology Department of Jadavpur University.

Over the past few years, the bigger brands of sweet shops have been gradually moving from hand-made to machine-made sweets. This not only reduces cost, but also offers much more hygienically produced sweets. Traditionally, all sweets have been hand-made, a system still prevalent in the smaller sweet shops all over the state.

The roshogolla and pantua to be sold by Mother Dairy Calcutta will be entirely machine-made. The cost of each sweet is likely to be Rs 10 – but will perhaps be considerably bigger than those available for the same prices at the market.

Officials involved in the production, tasting and marketing of the products said that the production process will be meticulously developed and stringent measures followed to maintain the quality. The sweets will be sold in packets of two, five and ten. Further research is currently on for improving the quality and taste of these sweets.

Mother Dairy Calcutta, a West Bengal government project, was set up in 1978 under the Operation Flood II Programme, the world’s biggest dairy development programme of the National Dairy Development Board. In 1996, the state government handed over the management of Mother Dairy Calcutta to the West Bengal Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation, headquartered in Salt Lake.

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