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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.