FIIRO develops technology to commercially extract Thaumatin
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) has developed a technology that allows commercial extraction of Thaumatin, a low-calorie sweetener and flavour modifier. FIIRO has said that the move was necessitated by a surging demand for alternative sweeteners, compounded by increasing special dietary needs containing non-nutritive sugar, such as diabetic patients.
The Director-General of FIIRO, Gloria Elemo said “Over the past few decades, non-nutritive sweeteners have been gaining significance and are expected to develop into a major source of high potency sweetener for the growing natural food and pharmaceutical markets. There is a huge gap between sugar production and consumption in Nigeria, and this represents a serious problem since an estimated 2.5 million tonnes will be imported to meet local demand”.
“FIIRO as an organisation has over a long period been involved in herbal programmes and project for sweeteners, medicines, spices, condiments, nutraceuticals, foods and functional foods.”
According to her, all available sweeteners for industrial and domestic use in the country are imported, are high cost and have negative health implications, thus need to source alternative sweeteners, mainly non-nutritive phytochemicals, from plants. She said the institute ensures that only the best and safest ingredients are utilized in the development of its various products to spur industrialization the country.
Speaking at the conference, Prof. Bidemi Kappo from the University of Zuzuland, South Africa, said: “I hope that from the experience I bring from South Africa, we can come up with a product that we can take to the market which can actually ameliorate metabolic diseases in Nigeria and Africa at large.”
Read the full article via FoodBusinessAfrica here.