Food processing engineer Kehinde Adekunbi Taiwo has spent decades working to enrich local foods in her native Nigeria to bring the benefits of leafy greens to more people through food engineering.
Taiwo, a professor of food engineering at the Faculty of Food Science and Technology (FST) at Obafemi Awolobo University (OAU) in Ilu Ife, Nigeria, says southwestern Nigeria has an abundance of leafy greens, many of which have been domesticated. It states that it is not managed and therefore not managed. But she and her team have found a way to bring health benefits to many Nigerians.
“My team investigated the use of indigenous green leafy vegetables such as: Telferia occidentalis (flute pumpkin), Amaranthus viridis (amaranth), and SOLANUM MACROCARPONE (African eggplant) Enrich a variety of local foods (bread, chin chin, biscuits, cakes, moine moin, ogi, etc.) that are acceptable to consumers,” she said, adding that leafy greens are relatively cheap and of high quality. He added that it is rich in nutrients.It contains phytochemicals, proteins and minerals.
“The biggest chance is that children will love vegetable-rich products and in this way they can get their daily needs in a stress-free and very inexpensive way.” Achieved.
“Green leafy vegetables are not only rich in nutrients, but also have medicinal benefits. Therefore, we have optimized the optimal extraction method for antioxidants, developed a method for drying the leaves, and optimized the processing conditions for various foods. To facilitate adoption and uptake of research findings, relevant stakeholders (bakers, farmers, food vendors, government regulators, bakers associations, village community associations) and held several awareness-raising events,” she says.
Taiwo was born in Kano, northern Nigeria and attended primary school.
“I am one of a boy-girl twin. I was born in a time when many parents thought girls didn’t need to be educated…my mother had the power to go to school.” A personality that defies her husband and insists that her daughters have equal opportunities and access to education,” she said, noting that mothers were always willing to make a useful contribution to family discussions. He added that he encouraged her to read the newspaper.
“My first educational challenge was my personal competition. Despite the low expectations of female children at the time, I am doing just as well as my twin brother,” she said. say. Very popular with federal women’s colleges on merit. ”
Taiwo attended a boarding school in Benin City, Nigeria, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
“Professor J Akinmususru (lecturer), my brother-in-law, advised me to change my course to Food Science and Technology (Faculty of Technology) because there were very few technical women back then,” she said. says. , he believed it would open up great opportunities for me in the future – he was right!”
As a food processing engineer, Taiwo says he has made significant contributions to post-harvest processing of food crops in Africa.
“We provided the specific engineering data needed for equipment design and process optimization and handling,” she says.
Another female STEM worker from Africa with a focus on green leafy vegetables is entrepreneur Dorcas Lukwesa.
Lukwesa grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Zambia. Now there she is building a social enterprise around her portable bamboo smart garden for farmers with limited space, limited soil and little water.
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