Tag Archives: Nutrition

A Collection of Sorghum & Millet Information

If you need to get to know about Sorghum or Millet or want to get some of developments, this conference publication could be very useful.

Website presenting papers of the Afripro 2003 Conference

Unfortunately this conference is now 10 years old so doesn’t present the very latest state of the industry, but does contain two good reviews which are always relevant and some of the science of the time around food products, nutrition, plant breeding, sorghum based polymers and consumer preferences.

With international researchers like Professors Belton, Rooney and Taylor one can rest assured that the standard and focus of the work was of the highest standard. The web site presents a wide range of papers as well as the questions arising and the way forward through focus group and a prioritised list of research needs.

This conference was the output of a development funded project, so has no direct project follow up. However, there has surely been more work in the technology areas identified and maybe there were activities in ideas/groups born from the conference. I have not been able to find a collection of this type of information and would be interested to hear about your experiences and share further information here.


Medical Research Council Likely to Stop Research on Food Safety

It seems that the MRC will be refocusing its research efforts into the top ten causes of death in South Africa. Their work on nutrition and carcinogens is likely to be effected by this change.

click the image to visit the website

This has already eliceted response given the existing malnutrition and food security problems in poorer communities. However, the needs here probably call for more focus on the implementation of existing technology and the addressing of socio economic issues than scientific research.

One of the main focusses of the MRC's work is aflatoxins which are a particular problem in rural areas and in food and feed safety. Again the first requirement is probably the transfer and effective implementation of existing technology.

In both areas the level of scientific research required can probably be reduced without immediate detriment to the efforts to improve nutrition and safety, so long as the the transfer and implementation of existing technology is properly handled.

Frozen Food Overview – Free Online Information

This 28 page document is the Food Vision of the British Frozen Food Industry.


from: British Frozen Food Industry
(click image for full story online)

Although the document considers the British industry it is packed with information that would be of value to anyone, anywhere considering entering the frozen food market.

There are detailed sections on market, technology & quality, sustainability & social and nutrition. The report has large lists of references.

Possibly as would be expected from a Frozen Food Association they are very positive about the future of the industry.

Ever Wondered What Super Fruits Are?

Have you ever wondered if the was really a good defintion of super fruiots – this short article might help you make up your mind.

Superfruit Nutrition.jpg

from: Food Product Design
(click image for full story online)

For me these three quotes clarify a lot

..there is no regulatory or scientific definition of a superfruit..

..superfruit” is often used to describe novel fruits that are great sources of nutrients, antioxidants and anticipated health benefits.

“In reality, all fruits are superfruits, because each one has a different set of nutrients and antioxidants and, therefore, potential health benefits.”

On top of this the measurement of antioxidants is complex and our knowledge of their health benefits limited.

But read the article and see what you think.

The African Market/Solar Garden

Over the years I have seen many attempts, and been involved in some myself, where there has been an attempt to introduce vegetable production in resource poor communities. This one – The African Market Garden (AMG) seems to address a number of the problems I saw and refreshingly provides some hard information on costs and incomes.

A System of Horticulture Production Based on Irrigation and the Minimisation of Running Costs

from: MASHAV
(click image for full story online)

The model seems to be most often attributed to ICRISAT but is being developed in a number of areas by organisations including Stanford & Ben Gurion Universities, MASAV, CIGAR and AVRDC.

In a sense its a very simple blending of simple technologies to provide a solution that matches the needs and circumstances of the poor farmers involved.

  • drip irrigation to minimise the amount of water required
  • the optimisation of production through crop selection and training
  • the balancing of household use and sale for income
  • solar energy to eliminate running costs such as electricity or diesel
  • an affordable capital cost

No new technology in that! just implementation!

The question is how have so many projects, which presented similar simple models, not managed to succeed – I believe its the commitment and dedication of the right people.

Some links to other stories:

ICRISAT The African Market Garden – Advanced Horticulture for the Poor

African Market Garden in the Sahel

Solar Market Garden

Solar Electric Light Fund: Projects: Benin

Waste & Over Eating vs Need & Malnutrition

The work in the United Kindom on waste in the food system has lead to an intriguing, data rich report which is available on the WRAP website.


bb10fddbb310ebaa21fa47f9fa5068b0.pdf (page 1 of 86).jpg

from: WRAP
(click image for full story online)


Taking the information of how much food is wasted from this report, with the post on excessively nutritious foods and Michele Obama’s work with the the food industry to reduce the energy content in the food they sell together surely indicates a process that should start to redistribute calories.

Maybe some more about this in future posts.


Free Food Science & Nutrition Information

Food Advisory Consumer Services (FACs) say that their site “is primarily intended for consumers and other interested parties seeking balanced and scientifically correct information on some of the many contentious and emotive issues which perennially appear in the media.”


FACS - Food Advisory Consumer Service.jpg

from: FACS
(click image for full story online)


The tone maybe shows that they are very much the voice of science and not much interested in what people experience and anything alternative. This doesn’t suit me very well as I am able to detect MSG in food by quite a violent reaction – which their article very much dismisses!

But still there is good information in the articles they have written and posted as well as in their list of links. So I recommend them!

AJFAND – An Online African Journal

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) is a peer reviewed journal with a free online site that stores all papers since 2002.
AJFAND is edited by Prof. Ruth Oniang’o.

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development - Home Page.jpg

A glance at the papers shows that this is no overseas Journal “writing on” Africa as a funding strategy. This is Africans focussing on African material and processes. For example the papers in the second edition of 2008 Journal are shown below.

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development - Home Page-1.jpg

All articles are peer reviewed by an impressive list of mainly African reviewers who you can browse on line or contact.

A good site to subscribe to or visit each quarter to see the latest edition!


Free Food Science Info – Trans Fats

Trans Fats are one of the newer health threats that have arisen out of new technology introduced to the Food Processing Industry.

In the 60s we seemed to see that saturated fats were the cause of health problems – especially the emotive heart attach. There was therefore a move away from animal fats and in particular butter. To achieve this consumers were encouraged to change to margarine, which was produced from unsaturated fats.

Since then we have learnt a lot more about saturated fat and health and have now identified a byproduct (trans fat) of the margarine process which is positively dangerous.

The review below can be downloaded for free and covers the subject in great depth.


from: CRFSFS
(click image for full story online)