Prof Emmambux is currently an associate professor in the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences, University of Pretoria. He holds a C2 rating from the NRF and is the research leader for food processing at the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. His research is broadly on African food biopolymers for nutrition and functional use. The main focus is on the chemistry of starch modification with lipids for clean label starches used in the production of nano-materials, non-gelling high viscosity starches for stabiliser and fat replacers, low glycaemic index foods, encapsulation of nutraceuticals, and biocomposites with other biopolymers.
Reducing energy density and increasing nutrient density of foods to combat diet related non-communicable diseases
Mohammad Naushad Emmambux
Department of Consumer and Food Sciences, University of Pretoria, and DST/NRF CoE in Food Security Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa
Diet-related non-communicable diseases for example type 2 diabetes, obesity and its associate diseases are on the rise globally. High energy dense foods mainly from diets characterized with refined cereal flours; and readily available, affordable, high fat and high glycaemic index carbohydrates foods; and low fibre foods have been associated to diet related non-communicable diseases. This presentation shows how the production of safe, marketable, affordable, ready to eat (convenient) and tasty low energy dense or high nutrient dense are some of the strategies to potentially combat diet related non communicable diseases. Modified starch added to mayonnaise type emulsion can act as fat replacer to reduce 80% of the oil without affecting the sensory properties compared to full fat mayonnaise. This is due to the non-gelling, high viscosity and good lubricity properties of the modified starches. Starch from maize meal can be modified with 2% monoglycerides and heat-moisture treatment to reduce estimated glycaemic index (eGI) of maize porridge. The lower eGI is related to formation of amylose lipid complexes as well as increase in crystallinity to produce more slowly digested and resistant starches. In term of producing nutrient dense foods, processing technologies for example extrusion cooking can combine whole grain pulse and cereal flour to produce snack and porridge rich in nutrients (protein, dietary fibre) rather than energy dense foods. Whole grain from pulses and cereals can also be processed with infrared and microwave to produce convenient nutrient dense product. Example of nutrient dense convenient ready foods are quick cooking samp and bean, extruded sorghum-cowpea pasta, and whole grain extruded tef.