2009 Fellow's Research Projects
Satmalee Prajongwate, Thailand
|Research Themes||Development of technology to increase indigestible resistant starch content of rice flours|
Thailand is one of the largest rice producing countries and the local people commonly use processed rice flour for cooking. My research investigates how to increase the content of indigestible resistant starch, without altering the quality of the rice. Indigestible resistant starch has a similar function to that of dietary fibers', and it can control blood glucose level and energy intake. In the recent years, low GI foods have been gaining popularity in Japan. Therefore, increasing the content of indigesitible resistant starch would raise the demand and value of Thai rice.
San Juan Edith M, Philippines
|Research Themes||Quality enhancement of fresh food products through heat processing and effective use of secondary products|
In the Philippines, we transport fresh foods from the rural regions to Manila in order to meet the demands of the populated city. Due to the poor condition of the road infrastructure, the transportation of goods takes approximately 10 hours. Moreover, the inadequate cold transportation leads to food waste in large quantities. My aim is to decrease the amount of food waste through heat processing technology and enhance the quality of transported food. Currently, I am using bananas for my research, but I hope I will be able to apply the same technology for other products in the future.
Nelwan Leopold Oscar, Indonesia
|Research Themes||Application of filtering technologies for the enhancement of fish sauce quality|
Fishing is widespread in Indonesia, and we have been producing fish sauce for centuries. Upon production of fish sauce, we practically use fresh fish that cannot be sold as well as liver and other internal organs that are isolated while processing of seafood. However in the recent years, demand for fish sauce has been decreasing due to its undesirable flavor and consumption of soy sauce, which is cheaper than fish sauce, has been increasing. Without using heat processing technology, I am researching on how to improve the quality of fish sauce through specialized separation technology.
Luan Guang-Zhong, P.R. China
|Research Themes||The Influence of Glucide on Solidification of Soy Products|
In China, westernization of food consumption pattern is taking place, which is leading to an outbreak of various health problems. To improve this current health condition, I am doing a research that aims to increase efficiency of tofu and soy product processing by focusing on a type of a glucide that is preventing the solidification of soymilk. I hope this research will lead to the development of various healthy food products that are made of soy milk, which is inexpensive than dairy products, and also produce processed goods that are similar to cheese and yogurts.
Borse Babasaheb Bhaskarrao, India
|Research Themes||Special Features of Biomaterials Combining Spices, Plant Resources, and Secondary Products|
I am trying to develop a biodegradable plant pot made of agricultural goods and secondary bio products. Biodegradable plant pots can be made by using grains. However, it is necessary to process them to protect from damages caused by mice and pests. It is easy to maintain the quality by using chemicals. However, I am trying to find an alternative methodology by using organic spices. I hope that eco-friendly biodegradable plant pots will replace the plastic plant pots, which are commonly used among the farmers today.
Interview with the fellows
Are there any experiences in Japan that impressed you?
Yes, when we visited Kirin Holdings Center for Food Safety Science and the Tsuchiura Factory and Food Research & Development Laboratory of Kirin Kyowa Foods Company, we were very impressed of the high quality and the systematic management of the facilities. We also enjoyed our time outside of work. We climbed Mount Fuji and went to seasonal festivals together.
In your home countries, have there been any developments in regards to food safety?
What is common among all our countries is that we have been gradually solving the issue of food insecurity. Though we have sufficient amount of food, we are still facing challenges in regards to nutritional balance. Though the middle- and upper- class people in the urban areas have started to concern about food safety, the concern is not shared among the entire population. Because of the inadequate regulations and insufficient education, financially struggling firms tend to prioritize price over safety of the food. There is a possibility that this tendency leads to an outbreak of health problems due to consumption of harmful ingredients. Since food safety is starting to gain attention as one of the major societal problems in the recent years, we are sure that Asian countries will take further steps to improve the current situation.
As it is in Japan, it seems that life style related diseases are becoming an issue in your countries as well.
Malnutrition is still a big issue for the poor, and life style related diseases such as obesity, heart diseases and diabetes are becoming a problem for the rich, whose eating habits have become westernized. This phenomenon symbolizes the gap between the poor and the rich. In our countries, we have traditional foods that are nutritious. However, it has become sort of a trend to consume fast-foods or ready made foods. People need to acquire correct knowledge that would enable them to make healthy choices.
Please share your opinions on the UNU-Kirin Fellowship.
We believe that this is a fantastic opportunity. As we have mentioned earlier, visiting Kirin Holdings facilities, participating seminars and learning the latest facilities and technologies of Japan, have greatly inspired us. We are granted with a special environment where we could dedicate our time and energy to research. We would like to make use of our current research to further stimulate the development of the food science research.