Read the full article by Noluthando Ngcakani for food for Mzansi
Africa is filled with “super foods” that have been used as sustenance and medicine by generations across history, believes Mpho Tshukudu, a Johannesburg-born registered dietician who dreams of a day when people will, once again, consume the delicacies of their ancestors.
Tshukudu told Food For Mzansi that this could be the answer to various lifestyle ailments, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers. “I have seen the magic of what is possible. This is why I have dedicated my career to honouring our cultures.”
Historically, African food was labelled as “poverty food.” But the world has grown more aware of the healing properties in foods from the continent, Tshukudu adds.
“When the world talks about gluten free grains, they are talking about African grains. These are sorghum, teff, millet and fonio. We need to understand, as Africans, that the whole world is looking at our resources. If we don’t take advantage of them, innovate and do interesting things with them, we will lose them,” she warns.
New outlook and pivot for the packaged food and beverage industry:
The two months plus Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period is a disruptor for many industries including the Indian packaged food and beverage industry.
Due to the lockdown, changes in the Indian consumers habits and their behaviour will result in the changes in demand and needs of the Indian consumers are going to change in comparison to the pre lockdown period. The changes will dictate the new norm and outlook for the post lockdown decade for the Indian packaged food and beverage industry.
New age grains / Nutri-cereals will gain momentum :
Millets comprising of Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Finger Millet (Ragi / Mandua), Minor Millets i.e. Foxtail Millet (Kangani / Kakun), Proso Millet (Cheena), Kodo Millet (Kodo), Barnyard Millet (Sawa / Sanwa / Jhangora), Little Millet (Kutki) and two Pseudo Millets (Black-wheat (Kuttu) and Ameranthus (Chaulai) have high nutritive value as ‘Nutri-Cereals’, for production, consumption and trade instead of coarse cereals.
Millets are gluten-free, highly nutritious, millets need very little water for their production, short growing period under dry, high temperature conditions. Millets also required rich soils for growth, no millet attracts any pest hence they have no or low fertiliser usage and pest-free.
Millets are rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, also gluten-free, Helps to lower type 2 diabetic and reduces the risk of heart disease Millets are a great source of starch, making it a high-energy food. It is also an excellent source of protein and fibre.
Quinoa is another new age Grain which has an incredible nutrition base and are considered better sources of fibre, protein, vitamin B, iron, and high levels of protein in comparison to other grains available.
The momentum for these new age grains will solely depend on the food marketers ability to effectively market the products derived from them and reach the end consumer’s home through innovative methods and channels and make them into regular, daily usage product.