Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
That the exploitation of potentially interesting raw materials for the preparation of foodstuffs is prevented by a lack of the necessary scientific knowledge is a common problem in developing countries. In the specific case of the isaño root, a material which in principle has great nutritional value, the limited knowledge of the glucosinolates present is a significant barrier to the exploitation of this material. A series of mainly negative effects on man and animal (such as the enlargement of the liver and toxicity for the embryo) are attributed to glucosinolates and their breakdown products (including isothiocyanates and thiocyanates). At the same time there are indications that they could have a role in the prevention of cancer. It is thus particularly relevant in development terms to carry out research into the occurrence of these constituents and their concentration at different times of harvesting and in various post-harvest treatments.
This is precisely what Rodrigo Ramallo Zamora has done in his research. He has succeeded in identifying a glucosinolate (p-methoxybenzyl-glucosinolate) which occurs in high concentrations in the varieties he studied. The concentrations of the component depended on the variety and the harvest time.
This work, which has been written with attention to the very last detail, clearly provides the basis for further development-relevant work linked to cultivation and improvement strategies aimed at influencing the content of glucosinolates in isaño with the better valorization of the root as its ultimate objective.
report by Prof. D. J. Delcour, Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium