IFA Exhibition at SAAFoST congress 2023

On the 27th – 30th of August, scientists, scholars, students and professionals from universities, research institutions and industries convened at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the 25th biennial South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) congress and exhibition. The SAAFoST congress and exhibition is the premier food science and technology event in Southern Africa and this year’s theme was “Future Foods: Smarter and More Sustainable Solutions.” The InnoFood Africa (IFA) project ceased the opportunity to present their work on the potential solutions indigenous African crops have in providing healthy, safe, affordable, and delicious foods.

The IFA project partners from Belgium (PURATOS), France (INRAE and IA), Finland (VTT and University of Helsinki), Norway (NOFIMA), Uganda (Makerere University) and South Africa (University of Pretoria and Delphius) gave keynote lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations. All the lectures and presentations were accompanied by a display of different cereal and legume grains, food ingredients and food prototypes developed in the project. IFA project shared an exhibition stand with the Department of Science and Innovation/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Food Security (DSI-NRF CoE-FS). On display at the exhibition stand were two varieties of tef (UP), three varieties of Bambara groundnuts (UP), two varieties of cowpea (UP), two varieties of sorghum, orange flesh sweet potato flour (UP and Delphuis), low glycaemic index flours from millet and green banana (Makerere University), nutrient-dense ready to eat porridges (Nofima), protein-rich crackers (vtt), High-fibre sorghum pasta and antioxidant-rich pasta (UP), biodegradable films and rod for plastics (vtt and UP), protein-rich pasta (INA), muffins from maize, sorghum and millet (Puratos) and bread from sorghum (University of Helsinki).

Work package 6 which involves communication and dissemination of the findings of IFA project was represented by Prof Shakila Dada from the Department of Humanities of University of Pretoria. Prof Dada gave a presentation titled “using communication strategies for food science, food security and nutrition.” Examples of such communication strategies were displayed as easy-to-read booklets containing technologies from IFA in English, Zulu, Xhosa, Amharic, and other African languages for easy dissemination in local communities.

Visitors to the joint IFA/DSI-NRF CoE-FS  exhibition stand had the impression that the IFA was a company with a vast array of food products from African grains to offer to consumers. They are looking forward for the products to be in the markets. The visitors were eager to have a taste of the food prototypes and hoped they were already available in the markets as most of them kept questioning: “where can we buy these products? Or when will they be available on the shelves?”

Joint IFA/DSI-NRF CoE-FS exhibition stand on the first day of the SAAFoST 2023 congress

IFA exhibition stand with IFA project partners during the tea/coffee break on day 2 of the SAAFoST congress

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