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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 4 (2009 Deadline)

Establishment of Functional and Nutraceutical Food Research Section at the National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad 

Hang Xiao, University of Massachusetts
Masood Sadiq Butt, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF)
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $123,086
US Funding (Department of State): $127,409
Project Dates: November 15, 2010 - November 14, 2013 (completed)

Project Overview

Functional foods are foods or dietary components that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition, while nutraceuticals contain specific active compounds with potential health-promoting or disease-preventing effects. Functional foods and nutraceuticals currently represent a worldwide market valued at about $28 billion. However, Pakistan’s share of this market is very small due to inadequate research facilities and lack of sophisticated technologies and methodology. This project aims to create a well-equipped research center at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) that will introduce modern techniques for extracting and analyzing bioactive components of interest from traditional and non-traditional crops as well as agricultural byproducts. Additional work will be done to test the effects of selected functional foods and nutraceuticals against various physiological threats. The project should not only enhance the research capabilities of food scientists and faculty members but also help to identify novel crops and food products that could be developed by the Pakistani agricultural and food processing sectors. Public outreach efforts will involve the organization of seminars and lectures to create awareness about functional foods and nutraceuticals and encourage farmers to consider cultivating nontraditional crops for such uses. UAF will also build on its existing strong contacts with the local food processing industry to disseminate their research findings for possible use in food and feed production.

Quarterly Update

As of September 30, 2013, the installation of equipment in the cell culture laboratory has been accomplished under Functional and Nutraceutical Food Research Section, National Institute of Food Science and Technology at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. On July 8-9, 2013, the project organized a two day training entitled “Handling and Working Protocols of cell Culture Study Equipment” at UAF to create awareness among the post graduate students about the use and operations of related equipment. Ms. Sandie Favier from French Embassy in Islamabad visited Functional and Nutraceutical Food Research Section and admired the work done by the research team. During last quarter, Pakistani PI Prof. Dr. Masood Sadiq Butt has successfully completed training on the health enhancing effects of selected food bioactive components in animal experimental models with special reference to their anti-carcinogenic effects against colon and lung cancer (In vivo studies), in the Department of Food Science, UMASS, USA under the guidance of Dr. Hang Xiao.

Progress Reports

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