Nomzamo Magano, a master’s degree student in Food Science at the University of Pretoria (UP) recently received the Brian Koeppen Memorial Scholarship from the South African Association of Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST).
This scholarship, based on academic excellence, is in honour of the late Prof Brian Koeppen, who headed Stellenbosch University’s Department of Food Science until 1980. One MSc student at a South African university that offers Food Science or Food Technology is eligible for this scholarship annually.
"I feel honoured to be recognised by SAAFosT and I am also deeply grateful to the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences for having nominated me for this prestigious award. This good news came at a perfect time for me and I feel truly blessed,” Nomzamo said when asked how she felt about receiving this award.
With her research, Nomzamo aims to understand how consumers’ attitudes towards health and pleasure aspects of food in general influence their perception of the sensory properties (the appearance, texture, smell and taste) of gluten-free bread. She is supervised by Prof Riëtte de Kock and Prof Gerrie du Rand, two renowned researchers in the fields of sensory and consumer science at UP’s Department of Consumer and Food Sciences.
Her research forms part of an international NUTRIFOODS. The project focuses on the use of climate-smart gluten-free crops (particularly sorghum, cowpeas and cassava) to produce nutrient-rich bakery products for Africa and also Europe. Increased use of these climate-smart crops, instead of wheat, could benefit local economies in Africa and contribute to sustainability and food security. Climate-smart crops such as sorghum, millets, cowpeas and cassava grow well in the dry and hot climate of some parts of Africa.
According to Nomzamo, “it is particularly exciting to be part of an international project with partners from the Netherlands, Finland, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda”. She plans to use the award for a training course, study visit or to attend an academic conference. The scholarship will greatly assist her in the pursuit of her career plans. It has also inspired her to keep working hard and to continue to contribute to research that is for the greater good of Africa.
If you are interested to participate in research studies about the food choice attitudes of consumers, please make sure to sign up to the UP Consumer database