Sweden-East Africa University Network knowledge development for sustainable development
Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN) is a new strategic joint initiative from Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers) and partner universities in East Africa to increase collaboration and develop knowledge promoting global sustainable development. It offers novel opportunities to pursue research, training and utilisation in the realm of sustainability through collaboration with partners in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), an expressed priority of Chalmers.
Food and Nutritional Health is one of the thematic areas within SWEAFUN with the aim to ensure nutrition security for women and young children in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The emphasis of the exploration of collaboration areas will be issues of relevance to the UN´s Sustainable Development Goal 2 – to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition.
Undernutrition exists in multiple forms, of which micronutrient deficiencies and child stunting are the most prevalent. Children and women are particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency anemia, an indicator of both poor nutrition and health, and a variety of strategies are needed to ensure food and nutrition security for these groups in LMICs. In addition, the double burden of malnutrition characterized by the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight and obesity will also be addressed in our collaboration.
Our overall aim is to explore the use of underexploited traditional foods such as vegetables and insects with potentially high nutritional value. African indigenous and traditionally leafy vegetables may provide significant amounts of micronutrients including minerals such as iron and zinc and provitamin A and could therefore provide vital components to the daily diet. Previous studies have shown that insects can provide important nutrients such as proteins and minerals and more studies on the composition of edible insects are needed to be able to fully assess their nutritional value in comparison to other food sources. Enrichment of traditional cereal-based diets with such underexploited foods, that also can be used as ingredients in innovative new ready-to-eat foods for children and women could be expected to contribute to an enhanced nutritional status in these vulnerable groups. The use of fermentation, yeast and enzyme technologies in combination with traditional food preparation methods will be applied to further improve the nutritional quality of the traditional diets.
Partners and Participating Institutions:
1. Prof. Monica Ayieko, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), School of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Bondo, Kenya.
2. Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Byaruhanga, Department of Food Technology & Nutrition, Makerere University, Uganda.
3. Senior lecturer Lucy Mlipano Chove, Department of Food Science and Agro-process Engineering, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.
Ulf Svanberg (contact)
Chalmers, Life Sciences, Food and Nutrition Science
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology
Sokoine University of Agriculture
The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT)
Project ID: SG2021-8934
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2024
Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Areas of Advance