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Don advocates research synergy to avert African breadfruit extinction 



A Professor of Food Science and Technology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, Dr. Titus Nwabueze has called for research synergy among agronomists, academia, engineers, and plant breeders, among others, to address challenges hampering massive plantations of high yielding varieties of African Breadfruit trees.

Nwabueze, who made the call while delivering MOUAU’s 31st inaugural lecture titled: “Bread On The Tree: Process Optimisation In Food Extrusion Technology,” said the synergy will save African breadfruit from extinction and encourage varietal seed sales, to complement research efforts as public or private sector initiatives.

He noted that if Malaysia could identify the unexploited potentials of Oil Palm tree in Nigeria in the 1960s, tapped into it, and has today made palm oil industry a major driving force in her economy, then the breadfruit tree is “not too tall a tree” that Nigeria cannot fully harness its abundant supply to boost the country’s economy.

“It may interest us to note that the volatile constituents of raw African breadfruit seed oil possesses components with prospects of use in manufacturing drugs with nutritional background, otherwise known as nutraceuticals.

This will not only play the role of drugs in alleviating symptoms and illnesses, but also provide the body with nutritional benefits,” he said. He called attention to the challenge of low yield varieties, irregular and seasonal supply of stocks.

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