Ana Dinorah Bupo


Consumer and Food Sciences


MConSci (Food Management)

The development of an innovative culinary product prepared from green leafy vegetables for the urban consumer

Indigenous or wild leafy vegetables are very nutritious foods which are underutilised. They have made a positive impact on the nutrient intake of local communities for many years due to their vitamin and mineral content as well as their phytochemicals and antioxidants. The increase in the desire and need for convenience foods also makes it imperative that healthy options are made available amongst other convenience food products: time is valuable to the modern urban consumer, but issues of poor health attributed to convenience foods are on the rise around the world, especially obesity in South Africa. The use of African green leafy vegetables helps to prevent traditional foods from becoming lost in a westernised environment, and also allows a healthier alternative product to be made available. In order to do this, consumers are vital to the process of product development as they are the ones who have the final say as to whether a product will be successful or not.

The aim of this study was to investigate and determine the desired characteristics and specifications of African green leafy vegetable products, to develop four culinary products using these vegetables, and lastly to evaluate one selected culinary product by means of sensory evaluation and consumer acceptance. This study was conducted in three phases. During the first phase a data content analysis was conducted to determine trends in the market in order to identify four possible product options for consumers to select from. In this first phase, a research questionnaire was applied to collect demographic information, establish background knowledge and product characteristics of these vegetables as well as consumption information of the participants to determine what type of convenience food product is desired. This was done to obtain background knowledge of the subjects. During Phase 2 the four products were developed by following an experimental procedure. In Phase 3 one developed product was selected for sensory evaluation, which ultimately aimed to describe and evaluate the final product.

The target population for this study was urban consumers residing in Gauteng who were from different education levels, gender, race and age groups (over the age of 18 so that they were able to make their own purchasing decisions). The participants also had to be able to communicate in English, read and write English and be computer literate.

This study contributes to the gap in the knowledge of the development of innovative indigenous leafy vegetable products. The process used would enable another innovative culinary product to be developed. It also promotes the use of indigenous leafy vegetables which are sometimes seen as inferior but have the potential to be developed. The growth in the consumption of products provided by the local ecosystem is also recognised internationally and is becoming more widespread. Value was also added to the study by a combination of culinary innovation and traditional recipe development used in the development process.


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Primary Supervisor: Prof GE du Rand


  • Bupo, A.D., Du Rand, G.E. (2018) Using Check All That Apply (CATA) to develop an innovative food product using African green leafy vegetables. Poster presented at 8th European Conference of Sensory and Consumer Research, 2-5 September 2018, Verona, Italy.
  • Bupo, A.D. (2018) The development of an innovative culinary product prepared from green leafy vegetables for the urban consumer. Presented at 13th International SAAFECS, 5-9 March 2018, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.


Published by Gertruida Erasmus

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