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KNOWLEDGE FOR POLICY

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Projects and activities | 17 June 2019

NUTRIFOODS - Innovative approaches to value addition and commercialization of climate smart crops for enhanced food security and nutrition in Africa and beyond

Global Food and Nutrition Security

NUTRIFOODS seeks solutions on how to increase the use of Climate Smart Food Crops (CSFC) in baked products to provide nutritionally-rich food that meets consumer needs while favouring local economies. In Africa, rural communities traditionally prepare meals from locally grown crops like cassava, sorghum and pulses. However, with fast population growth, massive urbanization, and increasing disposable incomes, consumption of wheat breads is increasing rapidly and displacing traditional meals. The bread products available to consumers, though tasty, are not nutritionally balanced.

A major economic and food security problem resulting from this transition is that Africa now imports nearly 60% of its wheat requirements. Hence, the baking industry in Africa requires functional, nutritious flour from locally available crops to replace wheat in breads. Conversely, in Europe, increased prevalence of coeliac disease, gluten-sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome have created a growing demand for high quality gluten-free products. However, many current gluten-free products are low in dietary fiber, protein, micronutrients and phytochemicals and high in starches, sugars, fats and food additives.

NUTRIFOODS will address the technological and human skills issues to enable the successful manufacture and uptake of nutritious, wheat-reduced and gluten-free breads in Africa and Europe.