Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s NFTRC visit
Recently Professor Leslie Gregg-Jolly of Grinnell College from the United States of America (USA), together with 10 students visited National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC).
A Professor of Biology, Gregg-Jolly is currently visiting the Department of Biological Sciences at University of Botswana, and is teaching a course on Social and Ethical Issues Related to Biotechnology. She and the students were accompanied by two employees of Botswana Society.
The visit to NFTRC and other places around Kanye was organised by Botswana Society, which aims at advancing knowledge of Botswana in all disciplines and on all aspects of the nation’s cultural, scientific and environmental heritage.
The students are from several small colleges from the USA which form a consortium called Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), and they will be in Botswana for the whole of this semester, doing different modules at the University of Botswana (UB).
They visited the Food Microbiology & Biotechnology Department, with the objective of getting insight on what the department does, as well as to know what NFTRC as a whole does.
The visitors were welcomed to NFTRC by Acting Head of Department (Microbiology & Biotechnology) Ms Malebogo Ralefala, who then gave them a brief presentation on NFTRC services.
The students showed much interest, as seen through their questions throughout the presentation; for example, they wanted to know which chemical contaminants are tested for in NFTRC, and they were informed that the contaminants which are usually tested for are mainly from agricultural chemicals such as pesticide residues.
One of the students asked if traditional pounded sorghum is more nutritious than industrial dehulled sorghum; he was informed that during industrial dehulling of grain a lot of bran is removed, while in traditional pounding for dehulling of grain a lot of the bran remains, resulting in traditionally pounded sorghum containing more fibre than industrially dehulled sorghum.
The visit was concluded by a tour of NFTRC facilities including the Pilot Plant, Sensory Laboratory, Microbiology & Biotechnology Laboratory, Food Chemistry Laboratory and Nutrition and Dietetics Assessment Room.