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PROF AMONSOU’S INAUGURAL LECTURE FOCUSES AT HUMAN NUTRITION

PROF AMONSOU’S INAUGURAL LECTURE FOCUSES AT HUMAN NUTRITION

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Professor Thandwa Zizwe Mthembu and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Professor Suren Singh are hosting the inaugural professorial lecture of Professor Eric Oscar Amonsou, a Food Science Professor in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Prof Amonsou is a C2 rated NRF research Scientist in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, at the DUT.

The lecture titled: Foods For A Healthy Body And Sustainable Societies is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 28 October 2021 from 17:00 to 19:00 on Microsoft Teams.

“Our society is faced with multiple challenges including climate change, obesity and the burden of lifestyle diseases such as heart diseases and diabetes. Food insecurity in rural households also remains a great challenge. This lecture highlights the amazing power of indigenous African food and their constituent biopolymers in disease prevention and innovation for sustainable societies,” he said.

He relayed that most indigenous African food crops are drought tolerant and well-adapted to the changing climate. He indicated that these crops represent a treasure of nutrients and health-promoting compounds, and thus can be leveraged to broaden our food base, combat poverty, and create jobs by developing commercially viable products.

“Tailoring major food biopolymers such as proteins and polysaccharides for enhanced functionality is necessary for value addition and increased utilization. The role traditional crops can play in addressing our global challenges will be demonstrated through our cutting-edge research and ways to harness these benefits to improve our health and livelihood will be uncovered,” conveyed Prof Amonsou.

Biography

Prof Amonsou started his research career at the Benin National Institute of Agricultural Research, in Benin (Republic) before joining the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in 2013. Soon After joining DUT, Prof Amonsou created the Food Science and Technology Research Division, which has now grown into three different research units within his department of Biotechnology and Food Science. Through his research leadership, the Food Science Instrumentation lab equipped with state-of-the art equipment was established to support Postgraduate research.

Prof Amonsou’s areas of research interest include food chemistry and processing. His research activities mainly focus on plant protein characterisation and modification for enhanced functionality and applications. He also extended his research to include protein-polysaccharide interactions in food systems. Applications of these biomolecules are in emulsion stabilisation, hydrogels, and design of complex micro or nano-structured materials for controlled released of bioactive compounds. Furthermore, to respond to Food and Nutrition Security challenges, Prof Amonsou and his team have been combining indigenous knowledge and modern technology to develop nutrient –rich foods to improve rural households’ nutrition and functional foods for scale-up and commercialisation. He led the KZN Technology Transfer Fund project, which resulted in successful development of a product prototype and a Trademark registration in the name of DUT. Prof Amonsou is also the leader for the Food and Nutrition security research focus area He was the DUT representative and member of steering committee for the ARC/DUT/UFS collaborative consortium project on Broadening the Food Base. He has established many international research collaboration networks. He won several awards including the DUT innovators of the year award. Prof Amonsou has passion for human nutrition, and he is the founder of Nutrifid Education Hub, a platform which educate on healthy eating for disease prevention.

For more information on how to register, click on the invite which can be found on the DUT Pinboard by no later than Tuesday, 26 October 2021. The link to the inaugural lecture will be shared with registered participants.

Pictured: Professor Eric Oscar Amonsou

Waheeda Peters

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