Dr. Shyam Narayan Jha is pioneering research on nondestructive evaluation of food quality and makhana processing in India. He developed novel quantitative maturity and quality indices for mango and apple and predicted them using near-infrared spectroscopy and colour, respectively. The continuous efforts of 30 years of Dr. Jha have brought makhana, an indigenous crop of Bihar, in limelight at National/international level and started research on sensor technology in Indian Agriculture
His Design of Evaporative Cooled Storage Structure for hot and dry region for short period storage of fruits and vegetables, first indigenous pilot plant for tomato processing, and ventilated and insulated freight container for trucks and train (now being called as Kisan train) for long distance transport of fruits and vegetables are well taken by different stakeholders. Four granted patents, 5 registrations, 4 patents in process are to his credits. Ten technologies developed by Dr. Jha and his teams are adopted by different stakeholders. Concept of quantitative quality indices given by him has opened a new vista of precision post-harvest technology in general and food safety and quality in particular in India.
Dr. Jha is bestowed with numerous awards and recognitions including Gold medals of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers and Horticulture Society of India, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and Chaudhary Devi Lal Outstanding AICRP Awards of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Recognition award of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), NRDC, Govt. of India Societal Innovation prize, and fellowships of various academies and professional societies. There are more than 250 research papers/books/conferences/patents and 24 awards/fellowships/scholarships to his credit. His books Nondestructive evaluation of Food Quality: Theory and Practice and Rapid Detection of Food Adulterant and Contaminants: Theory and Practice published by Springer and Elsevier Science respectively are high in demand throughout the world. He is editor of Journal of Agricultural Engineering and Journal of Institution of Engineers Series A too.
Dr. Jha has also contributed significantly in National and International issues/policy making, formulating central sector schemes of Agricultural Processing in the country and is member of numerous scientific panels/ Governing bodies/ policy making committees/bodies. According to Stanford University USA study Dr. S. N. Jha is amongst the top 2 % scientists across all disciplines of research in the world for life time citations till 2019 and is presently working as Asst. Director General (Process Engineering) at ICAR, New Delhi.