Laboratory research, currently underway at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE), aims to provide an in-depth analysis of food contaminants in child-feeding practices that contribute to child malnutrition in South Africa.
Between 2016 and 2017, the researchers collected samples from townships and mainstream wholesalers, small businesses and supermarkets in the Western Cape, Gauteng and the Free State. The samples were
Using NGS and bioinformatics (collecting and
“The technique can also provide more information on the presence of foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes” adds Korsten, who is also co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Food Safety Programme at the CoE.
With reports about the listeriosis outbreak highlighting the shortcomings of food safety practices within the SA food system, it is hoped that this research will help authenticate the content and safety of highly processed foods used for babies and toddlers and products of choice for the lowest income strata of the population as sources of protein.
This exciting research is located within the CoE’s research programme focussed on the persistence of child malnutrition. Two other studies running concurrently are Secondary Data Analysis to determine the levels, trends
All three studies are in progress and are due to be completed by the end of 2018.
WATCH: Prof Lise Korsten explains how food safety hazards affect food security