Master’s student in food science wins Ginsburg Award at SAAFoST congress

Posted on October 04, 2019

Ms Mphokuhle Ncube, an MSc (Food Science) student from the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences at the University of Pretoria, recently won the Ginsburg Award for the best poster presentation at the South African Association for Food Science & Technology (SAAFoST) 23rd Biennial Congress.

Participants who are considered for the award must be under 35 years of age and their poster should be based on research in the fields of food science or food technology.

‘I am humbled by the award and recognition of my work. Most importantly, I am inspired by the ongoing work on underutilised crops done by various researchers. I strongly believe in the future of these products and their commercialisation to solve food-related problems in Africa,’ Ms Ncube said when asked how she felt about winning the award.

Her research focuses on the development of model gluten-free bread doughs using sorghum protein (kafirin), maize protein (zein) and non-wheat starch. She is working under the guidance of Prof John Taylor and Dr Janet Taylor. The outcomes of this research are significant to the African continent. The researchers aim to substitute the common wheat bread with alternatives such as sorghum, which is well adapted to our climate, and maize, which is widely grown as a staple food. Also, people in pursuit of a gluten-free diet, due to personal preference or for health reasons, can benefit enormously from the product of this research. Some of the health reasons include coeliac disease and other gluten and wheat allergies.

- Author NAS

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