Latest News on Food Security : April 21

[1] Food security: a post-modern perspective

The paper explores post-modern currents in food security. It identifies three main shifts in thinking about food security since the World Food Conference of 1974: from the global and the national to the household and the individual; from a food first perspective to a livelihood perspective; and from objective indicators to subjective perception. It finds these shifts to be consistent with post-modern thinking in other spheres, and it draws on the wider debate to recommend food security policy which eschews meta-narratives in favour of recognizing diversity, providing households and individuals with choices which contribute to self-determination and autonomy. The current conventional wisdom on food security is reviewed and some post-modern amendments are suggested.

[2] Global Food Security: Challenges and Policies

Global food security will remain a worldwide concern for the next 50 years and beyond. Recently, crop yield has fallen in many areas because of declining investments in research and infrastructure, as well as increasing water scarcity. Climate change and HIV/AIDS are also crucial factors affecting food security in many regions. Although agroecological approaches offer some promise for improving yields, food security in developing countries could be substantially improved by increased investment and policy reforms.

[3] Food security: The challenge of the present

The group of basic problems that determine the existence of mankind involves the surplus of food for some and the malnutrition of others. There is an opinion that ensuring food security is an integrated task of agriculture and political will, combined with the logistics of product delivery. Despite joint efforts and various UN programs to combat hunger, only short-term local results have been achieved. Food security, especially in the global sense, has not yet been implemented, and there are reasons for this. The analytical review presents evaluation of the achieved result and points out the activities that require adjustments.

[4] Determinants of Rural Farm Household Food Security in Boloso Sore District of Wolaita Zone in Ethiopia

The study was conducted to identify determinants of rural farm household food security status in Boloso Sore district of Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia. A three-stage sampling technique was utilized to obtain a sample size of 90 rural farm households. Cross sectional data were collected through structured questionnaire, focus group discussion and personal observation. Data were analyzed using head count index, food insecurity gap index, food surplus gap index and binary logit model. The result showed that only 34.5% of rural farm households were found food secure while 65.5% were food insecure. The food insecurity gap and food surplus index showed that food secured households exceeded the food security line by 34.6% while 27.8% of food insecure households fall below the poverty line. The severity of the food insecurity gap among the food insecure households was found to be 11.7%. The binary logit model result revealed that the major factors determining food security of rural farm households were family size in adult equivalent, total cultivated land size, annual income of household, oxen ownership of households, access to extension and credit and age of the household head.

[5] Food Security Determinants among Urban Food Crop Farming Households in Cross River State, Nigeria

The study investigated food security determinants among urban food crop farming households in Cross River State, Nigeria. A two-stage sampling technique was utilized to obtain a sample size of 217 urban food crop farming households. The study was conducted in three urban areas in Cross River State, namely: Calabar, Ikom and Ugep. Cross sectional data were collected through well structured questionnaires and oral interview. Data were analyzed using headcount index, food insecurity gap index, food surplus gap index as well as logistic regression. The result showed that only 52.5% of urban food crop farming households were food secure while 47.5% were food insecure. The food insecurity gap and food surplus index showed that food secure households exceeded the food security line by 44% while 53% of food insecure households fall below the poverty line. The logistic regression result revealed that, years of formal education, farming experience, age of farmers, farming as main occupation, household size, income from farm and output of food crops produce were major determinants of food security status of urban farming households in the study area. The study recommends among others that in other to increase the output of food crop produced by urban farming households, government should encourage the use of improved planting materials, adoption of improved land management techniques and fertilizer should be made affordable and available to farmers.



[1] Maxwell, S., 1996. Food security: a post-modern perspective. Food policy21(2), pp.155-170.

[2] Rosegrant, M.W. and Cline, S.A., 2003. Global food security: challenges and policies. Science302(5652), pp.1917-1919.

[3] Prosekov, A.Y. and Ivanova, S.A., 2018. Food security: The challenge of the present. Geoforum91, pp.73-77.

[4] Leza, T. and Kuma, B., 2015. Determinants of rural farm household food security in Boloso Sore District of Wolaita Zone in Ethiopia. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.57-68.

[5] Ibok, O.W., Bassey, N.E., Atairet, E.A. and Oto-obong, J.O., 2014. Food security determinants among urban food crop farming households in Cross River State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.76-90.

Latest News on Food Supplements April-21

[1] The Role of Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals, and Food Supplements in Intestinal Health

New eating habits, actual trends in production and consumption have a health, environmental and social impact. The European Union is fighting diseases characteristic of a modern age, such as obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, allergies and dental problems. Developed countries are also faced with problems relating to aging populations, high energy foods, and unbalanced diets. The potential of nutraceuticals/functional foods/food supplements in mitigating health problems, especially in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is discussed. Certain members of gut microflora (e.g., probiotic/protective strains) play a role in the host health due to its involvement in nutritional, immunologic and physiological functions. The potential mechanisms by which nutraceuticals/functional foods/food supplements may alter a host’s health are also highlighted in this paper. The establishment of novel functional cell models of the GI and analytical tools that allow tests in controlled experiments are highly desired for gut research.

[2] The role of food supplements in the treatment of the infertile man

Recently, concerns have been raised about the presumptive increased risk of serious undesirable side effects in children born after IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). These treatments must, therefore, be reserved as the ultimate option after evidence-based and cause-directed treatment of the male patient with deficient semen has been exhausted. The present authors found that sperm quality and function improved with the intake of complementary food supplementation using a combination of zinc and folic acid, or the antioxidant astaxanthin (Astacarox®), or an energy-providing combination containing (actyl)-carnitine (Proxeed®). Also, double blind trials showed that the latter two substances increase spontaneous or intrauterine insemination- (IUI-) assisted conception rates. Extracts of Pinus maritima bark (Pycnogenol®), which inhibits the cyclo-oxygenase enzyme, reducing prostaglandin production and inflammatory reaction, and extracts of the Peruvian plant Lepidium meyenii were shown to improve sperm morphology and concentration, respectively, in uncontrolled trials.

[3] Food and Food Supplements with Hypocholesterolemic Effects

Hypercholesterolemia is a predominant risk factor for atherosclerosis and associated coronary and cerebrovascular diseases. Control of cholesterol levels through therapeutic drugs, notably statins, have significantly reduced the risk for developing atherosclerosis and associated cardiovascular diseases. However, adverse effects associated with therapeutic drugs warrant to find other alternative approaches for managing hypercholesterolemia, especially for those with borderline cholesterol levels. Food supplements have increasingly become attractive alternatives to prevent or treat hypercholesterolemia and reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. This review summarized current patents on food supplements with claims of hypocholesterolemic effects. They can be mainly divided into four categories based on the active ingredients in the supplements: 1) plant sterols or stanols; 2) fiber or polysaccharides; 3) microorganism-derived; and 4) soy protein and phytoestrogens. The efficacy, mechanisms of action and potential side effects are reviewed for each of the four categories. The hypocholesterolemic effects of plant sterols, fiber, Monascus products and soy protein preparations have been consistently demonstrated in clinical trails whereas the efficacy of some probiotic bacteria and phytoestrogens-containing supplements remains to be established. Accumulative clinical data show that plant sterols, fiber, soy protein and phytoestrogen are generally considered safe and cause no obvious side effects. However, additional clinical studies are required to establish the safety profiles of certain probiotic bacteria as food supplements.

[4] Comparison of Three Nutriceutical Food Supplements for the Treatment of Infertility

Aims: Approximately one out of every 8 couples is confronted with a problem of infertility. The diagnostic and therapeutic management, taking into account the WHO recommendations, may be complemented by nutriceutical food supplementation. The present study compares the original nutriceutical (Qualisperm®) with two recently marketed products (Proxeed plus®, and PROfertil®).

Study Design: The ingredients and their quantities of the three nutriceuticals were listed and compared, and their effectiveness on semen quality was assessed. The probability of conception per month was calculated, as were the numbers needed to treat, and the time to pregnancy, whenever available.

Results: All three nutriceuticals improve semen quality. The pregnancy rate per month of Proxeed plus was 3.7%, it was 5% for PROfertile, and 11% when Qualisperm was combined with WHO-recommended treatment of the male partner. The numbers needed to treat were 5.0 (CI:3.58-8.18) for Proxeed plus, 9.4 (CI: 4.46-94.9) for PROfertil, and 2.8 (CI: 1.7-8.7) for Qualisperm added to WHO-recommended treatment. The combination of Proxeed plus with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent Cinnoxicam generated a number needed to treat of 2.9 (CI: 2.32-3.98). The time to pregnancy was reduced to half when combining WHO-recommended treatment with Qualisperm, as compared to either WHO recommended treatment alone, or treatment with Proxeed plus with Cinnoxicam added. In a placebo-controlled double-blind randomised trial of in vitro fertilisation the number needed to treat of Qualisperm, given together with a specific oil to both partners, was 4.

Conclusion: Since confounding factors may have influenced the findings of the present comparison, the results should be interpreted with care. It is concluded that all three nutriceuticals may improve fertility, but that the efficiency of Qualisperm is best documented.

[5] Regulatory Aspects of Omega Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Dietary Supplements

Background: Food additives are subject to certain regulatory requirements, as in some countries, the control is very strict, while in others there is almost no control. Some food supplements can affect existing diseases or interact with some medications, food and beverage, a fact that is not mentioned on the packaging or in product instructions.

Methods: The aim of the study is to analyze the legislative framework for authorization and use of omega polyunsaturated fatty acids in the US and the European Union. The documents of 10 pieces of legislation were analyzed.

Results: Since 1994 the dietary supplements in the United States has been governed by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The European Union (EU) directive on food additives 2002/46/EC specifies harmonized rules for labeling of supplements and introduces specific rules on vitamins and minerals used in food supplements. The aim is to harmonize legislation and ensure that these products are safe and appropriately labeled so that consumers can make informed choices.

Conclusions: Due to heightened expectations and requirements for food additives worldwide regulation and legislation will continue to increase and ensure their quality, as well as their effects and safe use in all possible mechanisms.



[1] Cencic, A. and Chingwaru, W., 2010. The role of functional foods, nutraceuticals, and food supplements in intestinal health. Nutrients2(6), pp.611-625.

[2] Comhaire, F.H. and Mahmoud, A., 2003. The role of food supplements in the treatment of the infertile man. Reproductive biomedicine online7(4), pp.385-391.

[3] Deng, R., 2009. Food and food supplements with hypocholesterolemic effects. Recent patents on food, nutrition & agriculture1(1), pp.15-24.

[4] Comhaire, F., 2015. Comparison of Three Nutriceutical Food Supplements for the Treatment of Infertility. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, pp.173-180.

[5] Petkova, V., Obreshkova, D., Hadzhieva, B. and Ivanova, S. (2017) “Regulatory Aspects of Omega Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Dietary Supplements”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 18(2), pp. 1-7. doi: 10.9734/JPRI/2017/35627.

Dragon Fruit: The Super Fruit

Indian has agriculture supported economy having over increasing population, but heading towards food self sufficiency. One of the ways to boost up farming economy is adaption of high value low input requirement crop having diversified adaptability with various agro-climatic areas of India. The dragon fruit (Hylocereus sp.) is gaining its popularity for immense scope to grow as a commercial high profitable crop due to its rich nutraceutical properties and good for processing industry also. In the context of food diversity farmers are looking for new crops which are remunerative or having good nutraceutical properties and ensure return in short period. Among the new fruit crops, dragon fruit has potential for use to prevent nutrition-related disorders and improve physical and mental well-being of the consumers. Thus, its use is included in herbal medicine in many countries like China. In India, some initiatives have been taken to demonstrate its cultivation in few parts of the country. But, India imports (95 % of its demand) mostly from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. and fetch high prices in market.

Therefore, it also now is being taught in regular courses in many agricultural institutes. But, there is a gap between the knowledge, availability of literatures and skill for its successful cultivation, production of model nursery etc.

Keeping this view, an attempt has been made to make a complete information guide as book with special references to its Area and production, Nutritional composition and important uses, Origin and distribution, Taxonomy and botanical description, Types and varieties, Soil, Climate, Propagation, Nursery, Transplanting, Trellising, Pruning, Manures and fertilizer application, Irrigation, Intercultural operation, Floral biology, Flowering and Fruiting, Off season production, Harvesting and yield, Post harvest management, Crop improvement, Pest and diseases, Economy of production and Global market importance etc. I hope, it will help the growers, students and researchers as well.

I am indebted to the working groups in this field across the globe for their contribution. I duly acknowledged the literatures, web materials, books, journals etc which are consulted. I also express my deep gratitude to Book Publisher International, for completing this job carefully. I am very grateful to my parents, teachers and colleagues for their encouragement. I am also thankful to my family members for support. I express my heart full thanks to my friends and my dear students who helped me for the entire process. I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to my all teachers who prepared me at every level of my education.

Readers are requested for valuable suggestions for the improvement of this publication for its wide acceptability.

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Comparative Evaluation of Organic and Conventional Vegetables on Physical and Chemical Parameters and Antioxidant Activity

The objective of this research was to perform a quantitative and comparative analysis of physical and chemical characteristics and antioxidant activity in organic and conventional carrot (Daucus carota), green pepper (Capsicum annuum) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Five representative samples of each conventional vegetables, certified organic and non-certified organic vegetables were gotten from farms and supermarkets in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All samples were underwent the following analyzes: reducing sugars, total sugars, ºBrix, vitamin C, density, acidity, antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds content. Data were submitted to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means compared by Tukey’s test at 5% probability. The result shows that the organic carrot showed higher acidity (0.11 g% citric acid) and total sugar (5.68 g%) than those found in standard samples and certified organic ones (p<0.05). Regarding the density analysis and total soluble solids, there was no statistical difference between carrots, green peppers and lettuce from all types (p>0.05). It was observed that the vitamin C levels in carrot samples levels had no significant difference between the different forms of production (p>0.05). Conventional lettuce and certified organic pepper showed higher vitamin C than the other samples (p<0.05). The antioxidant activity of the samples was analyzed by the capacity to reduce the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl- hydrazyl) radical, in which carrot and conventional pepper showed lower antioxidant activity (p<0.05) when compared to organic samples. There were no significant differences among the different forms of production in the lettuce samples (p>0.05). Carrot and green pepper, with seal certification or not, showed higher capacity to reduce DPPH than the conventional ones, this suggests that the form of cultivation has a direct relationship with the nutritional values of the vegetables.

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Effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica) Leaf Coating on Shelf Life and quality Retention of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Fruits during Storage

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. Effect of Neem leaf coating on the shelf life and quality retention of tomato fruits during storage was investigated. Three varieties of tomato fruits (UTC, Shase and Hoozua) obtained from Wurukum market in Makurdi were treated with Neem leaf coating to extend their shelf life and maintain their quality during storage. Significant variations were observed among the varieties in relation to most of the parameters studied. Irrespective of treatment, weight loss, postharvest decay, marketability and firmness decreased with increase in storage duration. Temperature ranged from 28.43 – 31.89°C. For weight evaluation, UTC ranged from 4.95 – 45.28, Shase ranged from 4.40 – 45.16 and Hoozua ranged from 4.62 – 59.48. Among the three varieties, UTC and Shase showed lower postharvest decay of 0.00 – 10.00 than Hoozua with postharvest decay of 1.00 – 10.00 and the lower postharvest decay was found in the treated fruits. Marketability ranged from 10.00 – 0.00 for all varieties and firmness ranged 4.00 – 2.00 for all varieties. Comparatively, all varieties treated with Neem leaf powder had same shelf life of (22.0±0.00) days, while control fruits of Hoozua variety produced the least shelf life of (15.0±0.00) days and UTC control fruits produced the highest with (19.0±0.00) days. Four fungi namely Aspergillus niger, Fusarium oxysporum and Botryodiplodia theobromae were isolated from the decaying tomato fruits. The findings of this research indicate that powder from the leaf of Neem plant can be used to extend the shelf life and maintain the quality of tomato fruits beyond their known natural limits.

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Influence of Storage on Some Physicochemical and Microbial Properties of Concentrates from Two Sudanese Mangos (Mangifera indica) Verities

Aims: To produce concentrates at remote areas of production, where fruits are expected to be cheaper and hence compete with imported concentrates.

Study Design: Factorial Experimental design.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Sudan and Food Research Center, Shambat, Sudan, between September 2009 and May 2010.

Methodology: Two mango (Mangifera indica) varieties Abu Samaka and Baladi were used to produce concentrate and the concentrate was stored at ambient temperature and a refrigerator at 4ºC for 6 months. The concentrates were prepared by using open kettle boiler (100ºC) and they were packed in cans using double seam machine.

Results: The Baladi variety gave higher total soluble solids (TSS) than Abu Samaka. Abu Samaka exhibited an excellent percentage (29.7%) of total sugars during storage and the total titrable acidity of mango concentrate in the two varieties reported a slightly increase. The reducing sugars increased gradually with storage time. The two varieties showed retention of ascorbic acid content during storage. There was no growth of E. coli, yeast and molds in the concentrates of the two varieties tell the end of the storage period (6 months). The concentrates from the two varieties at both temperatures were acceptable by the panelists.

Conclusion: The two varieties showed suitability in processing to give mango concentrate.

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Aqueous 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) Utilization on a Non-climacteric Fruit: Cucumber

The present study aimed to evaluate a utilization of aqueous 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on a non-climacteric fruit of cucumber, and to compare with/to gaseous 1-MCP and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) applications. Fruits of cucumbers (Erdemli F1) were either treated with aqueous or gaseous 1-MCP (1 ppm), or left untreated for MAP storage or controls. The cucumbers were afterwards put into PET clamshell containers except for MAP application and stored 23 ± 1°C for 10 days for simulating retail shelf-life conditions. The cucumbers were then tested periodically to record changes in quality as determined by weight loss, firmness, color, gas composition (O2, CO2, and N2), total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, chlorophyll content, and decay during the storage time. Either aqueous or gaseous 1-MCP application had a no significant effect on weight or firmness loss. Illustrated by peel color values measured during the storage period, there were no significant differences among the treatments. Total soluble solids, pH or titratable acidity did not show a significant change or variation among treatments during the storage as well. Cucumbers stored in modified atmosphere packages showed higher chlorophyll a amount than those treated with 1-MCP. The results of the present work indicates that neither aqueous 1-MCP application nor gaseous 1-MCP application is effective for retaining quality loses and consequently for extending shelf life of the cucumbers kept at 23°C.

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Consensus Summit: Lipids and Cardiovascular Health in the Nigerian Population

Aims: To issue a consensus statement on Lipids and Cardiovascular Health and the impact of their interrelationship in Nigerian Population.

Study Design: Experts from a range of relevant disciplines, deliberated on different aspects of Lipids and Cardiovascular Health in the Nigerian Population at a Summit.

Place and Duration of Study: The Summit was held in April 2016 at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.

Methodology: Presentations were made on central themes after which expert participants split into four different groups to consider the questions relevant to different sub themes of the title. Consensus was arrived at, from presentations of groups at plenary.

Conclusion: With the increase in the prevalence of NCDs, especially Cardiovascular Disease in Nigeria, and the documented evidence of deleterious effects of lipids, the expert panel called for an urgent need to advocate for the general public and health professionals to make heart-friendly choices in food consumption.

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Hydro-Fracture Resistance Properties of Hura crepitans Seed Relevant to Handling and Processing

During harvesting, handling and dehulling, agricultural materials including seeds were subjected to several static and dynamic pressures that may affect the quality of the kernel if not properly handled. This work therefore studied the effects of moisture content on some compressive properties of Hura crepitans as a preparation for the design of the seed dehulling machine. Hura crepitans seeds were conditioned to four different moisture contents (9.3, 12.6, 15.6, and 17.8% db). The effect of moisture contents on energy at yield, energy at break, compressive load at yield, compressive load at break, compressive strain at yield and at break and compressive stress at yield and at break were studied using Instron testing machine (Model 3369). The results of the experiment show an increase in load at break from 44.87 to 356.27N; Load at yield from 10.87 to 83.06 N; and decrease in energy at yield from 0.262 to 0.021J; energy at break from 2.292 to 0.258 J; compressive strain at yield from 0.311 to 0.160 mm/mm; compressive stress at break from 2.809 to 0.384 mm, with increase in moisture in the range studied. The effect of moisture content on all the properties studied were significant (p> 0.05). These result showed that the compressive force properties of Hura crepitans is moisture dependent. The data reported in this work will be of great help during the design of Hura crepitans seed harvester, dehuller, cleaning and sorting equipment for the seed.

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A Through-chain Analysis of Microbiological Food Safety Hazards and Control Measures Associated with Production and Supply of Seed Sprouts for Human Consumption

An outbreak that occurred in Australia in 2005 – 2006 due to consumption of alfalfa sprouts contaminated with Salmonella Oranienburg affected 141 individuals, and cost an estimated $1.19 million to the Australian community. An outbreak of Escherichia coli O104:H4 linked to consumption of fenugreek sprouts occurred largely in Germany in 2011, and affected approximately 4,000 individuals. Among them, 908 developed haemorrhagic uraemic syndrome, and 50 died of the infection. These examples demonstrate that seed sprouts contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms present an unacceptable food safety risk to consumers.

This paper describes a through-chain risk analysis that informed the development of an Australian food safety standard for the production and processing of seed sprouts. It expands an extended abstract published in 2014 in the European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety by taking into consideration seed sprout associated outbreaks between 1988 and 2018, and risk mitigation measures implemented by Australian State and Territory food safety authorities to reduce food safety risks imposed by seed sprouts.

The purpose of this paper is to inform government agencies and the fresh produce industry involved in managing seed sprout safety of the science behind the risk mitigation measures developed to minimise food safety risk associated with seed sprouts.

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