[For further information on the Electronic Forum on Biotechnology in Food and
Agriculture see Forum website.
Note, participants are assumed to be speaking on their own behalf, unless they state otherwise.]
Sent: 08 July 2004 07:26
Subject: 53: Re: Biotechnology // Commercial opportunities // Nutraceuticals
I am Olusola Oyewole, a Professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
I want to commend the advice of Nelson Ojijo (Message 46, July 5) to those of us involved in Curriculum Development in African Universities. There is a need to incorporate Food Biotechnology oriented courses into the undergraduate programs of Food Scientists. Post-graduate programs in Food Biotechnology will also be useful.
Prof. Olusola Oyewole
Department of Food Science and Technology,
University of Agriculture,
Abeokuta. Ogun State.
E-mail : solaoyew (at) hotmail.com ; oyewoleb (at) skannet.com
Mobile : +234-803-335-1814 or +234-804-212-4850
Sent: 08 July 2004 07:47
Subject: 54: Re: Traditional fermentation in developing countries // GE microorganisms
My name is Lydia Sasu, a Home Science Extension/Farmer and a co-ordinator for Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana (FONG). This is a food security network.
I am referring to gari processing. In Ghana, our traditional mothers have different ways of processing gari. Again, we have different varieties of cassava and different methods for processing into gari. The sweet cassava gives better taste and higher price. The longer the fermentation time the sourer it tastes. Starters are not used in gari but a normal processing between 1-3 days.
Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana (FONG)
P.O.Box DK 18
e-mail: daa (at) africaonline.com.gh
Sent: 08 July 2004 09:36
Subject: 55: Microbial enzymes // Integrated approach to traditional fermentation processes
My name is Rosa Rolle, I am an Agricultural Industries Officer in the Agricultural and Food Engineering Technologies Service of FAO.
1. As discussed in the Background Document, enzymes are value-added products of fermentation processes, which can be applied as processing aids. I have come across a few literature reports on the production of microbial enzymes in India, through the solid substrate fermentation of by-products (such as bran, corn cobs etc). Are microbial enzymes associated with traditional fermented foods being at all studied/characterized/applied otherwise?
2. Fermentation is just one step of a food bioprocessing operation (a bioprocess consists of three major steps: raw material preparation, bioprocessing, product recovery) but is nevertheless the most critical step in the preservation/transformation of a raw material. A number of operations (e.g. peeling, cutting, washing, grating) are performed in preparation for fermentation. Post-fermentation operations are also required in order to facilitate recovery of the product after the fermentation process. The fermentation process itself must also be monitored/controlled. An integrated approach which incorporates consideration for the technical design of appropriate levels of equipment, as well as appropriate quality control, must therefore be taken in the development/improvement of traditional fermentation processes. Starter culture development must however provide the driving force.
Rosa S. Rolle
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rosa.Rolle (at) fao.org
Sent: 08 July 2004 14:17
Subject: 56: Re: Biotechnology // Commercial Opportunites // Nutraceuticals
I am Dr Wellington Otieno of the Secretariat National Food Policy of Kenya.
Modern biotechnology is a new field which has moved extremely fast although it emerges from indigeneous knowledge and traditional practices in many parts of the world including Africa. I fully agree with Nelson Ojijo Olang'o (Message 46, July 5) that there should be more exposure to biotechnology in the food science and technology departments in African universities. His sentiments are confirmed by Rose Rita Kingamkono (Message 48, July 5).
Dr Olang'o's message 46 in support to Marcel Hofman (Message 7, June 17), is appropriate and to the point. Biotechnology application, especially for rural-based agro-processing in Africa, could have many benefits including:
(a) Stimulating agricultural production, as the farm produce would have
immediate and instant value added component. This means that the current high
farm produce wastage and losses due to pests will be reduced significantly
because of the increased shelf life.
(b) Rural-based agro-processing would introduce a new stream of job creation for the rural population. The World Bank's Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) has made African countries go through a process of retrenchment of its people in both the public and private sectors. Biotechnology-based rural agro-processing could therefore be appropriate and timely.
(c) Rural-based agro processing could be the main source for sub-contracts by larger food manufacturing companies for further refined processing of intermediate goods into final food products. Such a process would naturally link the rural farm enterprises with urban food industries, resulting in a stimulated industrial development throughout the country.
(d) By introduction of simple biotechnology techniques, skills, equipment and technologies into the rural areas, this could form the beginnings of agriculture-led industrial development in Africa.
It is on the above context that biotechnology in the context of food processing could hold much promise for Africa's development. It should be taught in all departments of agriculture, food science and technology, veterinary medicine etc in African universities.
Dr Wellington Otieno
Director, Foodlink Resources Institute
P O Box 74506, 00200
Email: foodlink (at) nbi.ispkenya.com