Agribusiness | Regional

Indigenous food innovations characterise KNUST Food Fest 2023

The KNUST food festival under the auspices of the Vice-Chancellor, is an annual celebration of Ghana’s diverse food heritage, culture and innovations in food products development.

Each year, the festival addresses specific societal, industry and consumer needs in support of efforts to transform the Ghanaian food system for sustainable food and nutrition security.

The theme for #knustfoodfest 2023 is, “Promoting our culture and food for well-being and sustainable development.” Among other things, the festival showcased innovative ways to overcome global challenges with wheat flour and vegetable oil, using locally-available and indigenous food commodities.

The festival began with a Food Bazaar, which featured traditional foods and Ghanaian delicacies. The main event saw the display of innovative foods such as cassava cake, composite cassava bread, orange-flesh sweetpotato yoghurt, tiger nut bread, among others.

The international community at KNUST also featured their traditional foods to highlight the University’s cultural diversity.

A food scientist at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Prof. Dufie Wireko-Manu was happy with the numerous food products churned out by the University. She, however, appealed for industrial equipment to facilitate production.

“The availability of the state of the-art-technology such as homogenizers, pulse electric fields, pasteurizers, plastic-free and smart packaging among others, could enhance research and innovative abilities of our students to bring out more food products to address specific needs of the consumer.

“We call on all stakeholders in terms of collaborative research and sponsorship to enhance what’s being done currently,” she emphasised.

The Food and Drugs Authority entreated small-scale prospective food producers to take advantage of the FDA’s progressive licensing scheme to register their products.

Speaking on behalf of the Ashanti Regional Director of FDA, Ms. Abena Agyapoma Asiama, a Principal Regulatory Officer, indicated that the scheme helps students enhance their entrepreneurial potential.

“That scheme is for us. Those of us who don’t have the facilities and really don’t have the cash to register our products. When you come, we’ll help you with the analysis and register your product for you. You can be in school and do it,” she said.

She urged food producers to observe high food safety standards.

“Take your hygiene seriously, and where you prepare your food should be hygienic,” she said.

The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Mrs. Akosua Dickson, encouraged the consumption of local vegetables to boost one’s health.

“We’re blessed as Africans. The antioxidants abound in our food resources. It means all the free-radicals we generate in our bodies can be mopped up,” she said.

In the Food Innovations Competition for all students in Ghana’s tertiary and secondary/ vocational institutions, 26 applications from 5 institutions were received. Ten (10) from four institutions were shortlisted.

At the close of the competition, Team Davidson from KNUST was awarded 2,500 cedis as the overall winner. Team Agnes of UCC emerged the 1st runner-up with a cash prize of 1,500 cedis.

There was a tie for the third position, which went to Team Fabulous Bakers of Ejisu Senior Technical School and Team Wilson of Accra Technical University. Each going home with one thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 1000.00).

Special cash awards for most innovative and commercially viable products went to Team Agnes and Team Davidson.

Each shortlisted applicant was given money to support preparation of their innovative product (s) for the competition.

Meatman Butchery sponsored the event with a discount on all meat purchases and provided the stand labels.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.