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Brief Report of IUNS Task Force on “Technologies and Nutrition”

(November 2003 – June 2005)

Prof. Mark. L. Wahlqvist, President, IUNS requested Dr. V. Prakash to Chair this Task Force in  November 2003 and  Dr. Prakash  accepted the same.

Address:  Dr. V. Prakash, Director, CFTRI, Mysore-570 020, India
(e-mail: prakash@cftri.com)

Members of the Task Force:
Prof. Ruth Oniango’o, Nairobi, Kenya ( Food, Education Publishing)
(e-mail: oniango@iconnect.co.ke)

Dr. Kalyana Sundaram, Malaysia ( Horticulture/Food/ health Technology)
(e-mail; kalyana@mpob.gov.my)

Dr. Hanifa  Bachou, Kampala, Uganda   (e-mail: sab@africaonline.co.ug)

Ms. Azizah Omar, Malaysia/ Australia (IT)
(e-mail: aoma1@student.monash.edu.au)

Following were interested and upon request by Chair made themselves  available to assist the Task Force as  and when required:

Dr. Venkatesh Iyengar ( Formerly in IAEA, Nuclear Technologist)  USA
(e-mail: gviyengar@biominerals.org)

Dr. Maureen McKay (Monsanto, Chicago/St. Louis) ( Biotechnology)
(e-mail: Maureen.a.mackey@monsanto.com)

Prof. Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, Ghana (ICSU & Ghana; Traditional African Technologies) (e-mail: crspugl@ghana.com)

Dr. Gayle Savige, (Asia Pacific Health & Nutrition Centre, Monash Asia Institute,   Australia (e-mail: gayle.savige@med.monash.edu.au)

A. The Objectives of the Task Force are principally :

  • To generate a Report which would bring together the current understanding of “Technologies with potential to accelerate human development through Food and Nutrition”
  • To develop a proposal, in conjunction with other science and technology partners, for prototype community-based projects which apply the Report Findings.

B. Agenda prioritized for this Task Force are :

1. Food Technology (in conjunction with IUFoST several activities and events are planned (or have taken place).  Some of them are :

  • On-line Education- Joint with IUFoST ( meeting, Nairobi 2002)
  • IUFoST-  12th World Congress of  Food Technology,Chicago, USA,  July 16-20, 2003
  • Post WCCN ( IUNS- World Congress of Clinical Nutrition)- Cairns, Queensland, August,2004

2. Biotechnology
Follow up from the ICSU report on GMF in which IUNS was involved.
3. Information Technology and Telecommunication

  • Industry Partnerships are being pursued
  • Focus on empowerment of  women (eg. Mobile phones through Grameen Bank in Bangladesh)

4.  Energy Conservation
(eg.  Use of solar cookers etc)

  • Environmental advantage and impact of de-afforestation
  • Reduced household pollution and respiratory illness (UNEP Report)
  • Convenience and reduced burden of work for women

C. Way Forward :

 (1)  First meeting, 7 February,2004, Mumbai, India
After taking over as Chair of this  Task Force by Dr. V. Prakash, The  First meeting  was held on 7th February, 2004 at Mumbai  with assistance from Prof. Marika Vicziany of Monash Asia  Institute (an Economist with a focus on poverty and on India) who organized the meeting at Mumbai.

Dr. Prakash invited all the Task Force members and  other resource persons for this meeting. Prof.  Mark L. Wahlqvist, President, IUNS attended this meeting.  Prof. Marika Vicziany and Ms. Azizah Omar were able to present and other members could not attend the meeting because of preoccupation.

The following agenda items were discussed in the meeting:

  • Fixing Priorities for the Year 2004 – 2005
  • Identification of  strategies with particular reference to Africa based on the  Cross-learning experience between Africa and Asia.
  • Bringing out Reports and Activities thereon
  • Matter concerning the  Durban IUNS Conference and Safaris.
  • Proposal on Joint meeting of Chairs of Task Force
  • About workshop on School Children Health and Nutrition
  • Holding Workshops and Symposia by IUNS Task Force on Technologies and Nutrition- selection of Topics, dates and venues during the next 3 Years (from 2004-2006)
  • Preparation of Report on Task Force meeting for  publication in “ Asia Pacific journal of Clinical nutrition” (ongoing)

The meeting deliberated a large number of issues as mentioned  above  and Prof. Mark L.  Wahlqvist briefed the committee on many areas and the following are the major points that were highlighted :

(a)    Review:

  • Brief of IUNS website
  • 1st meeting in Nairobi with Prof. Ruth  Oniango’o as the Chair
  • Interaction with Hanifa (Information Technology and Nutrition in Africa)
  • First 50 graduates – major work force in changing Africa in Technology leverage
  • Study center / reviewal linkage
  • “Developing a report to make the case for Technology and Development to show Technology is related to Nutrition”
  • Technology Impact and Nutrition –Food Technology, Information Technology and Biotechnology
  • Energy – renewable and sustainable/ economic factor
  • Technology for water / food – needs to be  addressed in tandem
  • Fortification and  Biofortification ( role of CFTRI)

(b)  Products / databases and  outreach

  • IUNS  Technical Reports
  • A policy statement can come out with an agreed statement
  • How technology can relate to nutrition  region wise
  • Multimedia super corridor (Malaysia  as an example)
  • Product profile

Ex: (i) Energy food

CFTRI
(ii) Protein biscuits

  • Food based approach and  Nutrition
  • Micronutrients –  Iron,  Folic, Vit A /  zinc,  Iodine
  • Coarse grains and cereals (availability)

(c )  Special issue of Journal  of  APJCN:
Title : “The Role of Nutrition-linked Technologies in Human Security”

As regards bringing a special volume of APJCN, the committee deliberated in length and  it was suggested to  bring out a special volume incorporating the entire concept of holistic nutrition with the mandate of not only reaching out through ICT but also through sustainability development sustainability nutritional outlook for health and economic development. It would contain about 14 articles of 6 to 8 pages per article perhaps not exceeding about 96 pages. Will contain preface and recommendations along with the articles. Leading Nutritionists have been invited for the articles and is in the press of receiving the articles and finalizing the volume.
(2) Meeting of Chair, Task Force with President, IUNS  November 3-4, 2004,  Mysore, India
The Second Meeting  of the Task Force was held at CFTRI, Mysore, India Under Chair of Dr. V. Prakash   during November 3-4, 2004. For this meeting Prof. Mark L. Wahlqvist was present who came  as a Chief Guest for Nutrition Society of India Symposium conducted by University of Mysore in collaboration with CFTRI from  November 5-6,2004. Dr. P. Ramesh Kumar, Scientist, CFTRI who assisted the meeting. Dr. Prakash  and  Prof. Mark L.  Wahlqvist  discussed  together the  whole perspective  with regard to articles  for  Asia  Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (APJCN) in a second attempt during this Task Force meeting.  During this course  of the meeting   the Chair has got valuable inputs from Prof. Marika Vicziany through  online. Dr. Prakash and Dr. Mark L. Wahlqvist also  discussed various issues pertaining to   deliberations of CASNA meeting held at CFTRI in the month of August, 2004: Internet Access  and Capacity Building in Africa,  Community Projects with special reference to Rural women entrepreneurship  in Kuppam, Andrapradesh and  Food Proceesing Centre  at B.R.Hills, Karnataka in South India. These 2 places were visited by the IUNS President. Dr. Prakash  indicated that   CFTRI will integrate the community projects  as the  institute has vast experience  in this area. Invited  talks to be given at Durban  Nutrition Safari 2005 were also discussed in the meeting.

(a) Brief on Annual  Meet of Nutrition society of India at CFTRI, Mysore:
The  36th Annual Meet of Nutrition Society of India (NSI)  was held at CFTRI, Mysore from 5-6, November,2004  which was organized by Dept. of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Mysore, Mysore in collaboration with CFTRI. The Theme of the  Meet is “Bridging the Nutrition  Gap through Value addition”. The meeting had a  total of 1200 Registrants along with more than 1800 participants and the  Key Note Address was  given by Prof. Mark L.. Wahlqvist, President, IUNS.  Dr. V. Prakash has given Presidential address  and emphasized in his speech “If reach out of Nutrition to the Needy matters to us, we shall matter more to reach out”.  Dr. Mark Wahlqvist gave 28th  Gopalan Oration award Lecture entitled “ The Nutrition Science: Solutions  for Development”. Dr. Kamala Krishnaswamy ( President, NSI, India) gave  16th S.G. Srikantia Memorial Award Lecture entitled “Turmeric- “ The  Salt of the Orient is the  Spice of Life”. In addition to these  there are several  Scientific Sessions  with parallel symposia and poster sessions for youngsters. The symposia covered various areas in the fields of   Critical determinants of pregnancy outcome, Community  Nutrition, Experimental Nutrition and  Bridging the Nutrition gap through Value addition with reference to Food Processing, Capacity Building, Traditional knowledge base and Technology Intervention.  In Concluding Session, Dr. Mark Wahlqvist distributed Awards and Certificates to  budding Scientists in the  field of Nutrition.
(3) Next meeting of Task Force, September 2005 at Durban
The next meeting  of this Task Force  is expected  during  18th International Nutritional Congress  to be held at Durban, South Africa during 19-23 September, 2005.