Wednesday, June 5, 2013 — This process makes for a low-calorie, lightweight and flavorful ingredient for food rations, according to Dr. Scott Neff, a PHHI research associate helping coordinate the work in Lila’s lab.
“By using edible proteins and flours, we ensure a shelf life far exceeding that of fresh produce. Plus, the ingredients convey the stuff that soldiers want and need from rations, like nutrients, variety, portability and flavor.”
The researchers are still creating prototype functional foods, testing for efficacy and stability, and conducting sensory and nutritional analyses. The team is also looking at using other types of flours, like whey protein, in the development of additional food ingredients. Jorge Guerrero, a visiting research scholar from Mexico who has since returned to his home university, also contributed to the initial research and development of the kale and muscadine-infused ingredients.
“No one else has had the resources or the impetus to tackle the complex biochemical pathways within economically important plants that give rise to natural products that make a difference for human health,” said Lila. “
That’s the unique component of this project and where PHHI makes a big difference.”
About the Plants for Human Health Institute
The N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute is leading the discovery and delivery of innovative plant-based solutions to advance human health. N.C. Cooperative Extension serves as the outreach component of the institute, which is part of the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis. The campus is a public-private venture including eight universities, one community college, the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) and corporate entities that collaborate to advance the fields of human health, nutrition and agriculture. Learn more at www.plantsforhumanhealth.ncsu.edu.