Professor Olayinka Ramota Karim has recommended the establishment of Centre for Nigerian Traditional Food Research and Development (CeNTFRD), to serve as outlet for a holistic approach on value addition to the traditional foods in the country.
Karim, who lectured at the Department of Home Economics And Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture of the institution, University of Ilorin made the recommendation at the 195th Inaugural lecture of the University on Friday.
The lecture has as the theme, “Good Foods Yesterday, Better Today, Best Tomorrow.”
“The Centre will also disseminate and demonstrate the research findings of the Universities and Institute, periodically, to the food processors for adoption,” she said.
The don stressed the need for appropriate processing and handling of food production, to guard against food related diseases in the country.
She also called for structural transformation of traditional foods,” to make them better for today and best for tomorrow, to be supported by a policy on food production.”
Karim said such policy, when on board, should be accompanied with pragmatic food processing issues capable of adding value to agricultural food produce.
The don also advised: “More funds should be made available for bottom-top research that can address the traditional food processing technologies, not only for the production of good foods but also for enhancement of the national development.”
“The new processing technologies and value addition methods should be developed to be as close as possible to the existing traditional ones that can easily be adopted.”
She, however, warned that processing technologies should not undermine the cultural, social, religious and gender factors associated with traditional food processing technologies.
The lecturer advised food processors to adopt proven technologies and innovation on traditional food system.
According to her, they should also embrace the technologies as an opportunity to improve the production, nutrition, safety and overall quality of traditional food products, as a logical way of assuring food and nutrition security in Nigeria.
She also advocated the need for large and international scale food industries to venture into production of Nigerian food.
The lecturer called on consumers to accept value added traditional foods and stop regarding them as foods for the elite or superstore goods, but foods of better nutritional, safety and “organoleptic properties.”