Nutrition and toxicology division is one of the major divisions of the department of Food technology with particular mandate on promoting, production and consumption of nutritious and safe processed foods for different age groups as well identifying and bridging nutritional gaps for different health related challenges using indigenous carefully selected crops.
The division also conducts nutritional evaluation, sensory evaluation, and toxicological studies on established products as critical requirement for food product development prior to consumer acceptability studies. In addition to this, the division carry out research on dietary planning and management.
Vision of the Division
To be an international center of excellence in Nutrition, Nutraceutical and Functional food technology.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS IN THE DIVISION
1· Research and development on Nutraceutical and functional food products for prevention and management of various diet related and chronic disease conditions.
2· Development and formulations of food for people with special nutritional needs (HIV/AIDS and diabetic patients, people suffering from acute malnutrition, weaning children)
3. Research into food fortification and enrichment.
Research activities and consultancy
- a. Nutraceutical and functional foods
Assessment of the beneficial health effect of Nigeria medicinal plants and crops, designed for human diet/consumption, on pathological animal models (cardio-vascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, obesity, diabetics and gut health)
- b. Food toxicology
Assessment/evaluation of the safety of food products using in vitro and in vivo studies and development of tools for reducing the toxicity of toxic substances in foods, enhancing techniques for preservation and reduction of contamination in foods to improve food nutritional safety.
- c. Sensory evaluation and quality control/assurance of different food products developed in the department
1. Production and evaluation of high protein instant and semi instant weaning foods from blends of indigenous cereals and legumes (millet, maize, rice, cassava, soybean, sesame and Bambara groundnut
2. Utilization of soybean in Snacks and confectioneries Production
3. Dehydrated Mushroom and its utilization in food formulation.
4. Utilization of tiger nut and soybean in the production of milk, beverage drinks, yoghurt, ice cream and mayonnaise.
5. Production and evaluation of novel extruded snacks from blends of indigenous crops
6. Production and fortification of garri with protein and micronutrient from plant and animal sources.
7. Preparation and packaging of Nigerian traditional dishes
8. Utilization of indigenous fish species in development of food products
9. Production of micronutrient sprinkles for food fortification.
10. Effect of processing on the nutritional, functional. And sensory properties of Bambara groundnut and cowpea and their utilization in biscuit and fermented gritty cassava meal (Garri) fortification.
CURRENT PROJECTS IN THE DIVISION
i. Production and evaluation of micronutrient sprinkle from Indigenous crops
ii. Investigation of the anti-diabetic properties of FIIRO produced hypoglycemic drink in rats
iii. Development of antilipemic/hypolipidemic snacks from selected fruits for the management of obesity.
iv. Glycemic indices of commonly consumed foods in Nigeria.
Contact the Division
Dr (Mrs.) Jane Okafor