A new Laboratory that would be used as a center for monitoring and analyzing value added food samples in Kenya has been launched at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The Project which is funded by the European Union at a tune of KSh. 400 million is in collaboration with the Kenyan Government.
The Kenya National Food Fortification Reference Laboratory, which was launched on July 27, 2018 by the University Council led by Prof. Paul Kanyari, will support the Ministry of Health and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in checking compliance of foods to local and regional food fortification standards.
The research facility will be a big boost towards the implementation of the Government’s food and nutrition security agenda by enhancing access to nutritious and safe foods to all Kenyans. Research and innovation within the food fortification arena will be catalyzed, creating a knowledge pool that will accelerate targeted interventions toward improved health to all Kenyans. The laboratory will also increase the capacity of the qualified personnel in the fortification sector; through post graduate training from JKUAT’s Department of Food Science and Technology.
The Project Coordinator, Prof. Daniel Sila of the Department of Food Science, hailed the impact of the initiative as a step forward in furthering research through the training programs and the food sample analysis.
“This Laboratory will be a one stop center for food samples analysis from Kenya and Africa, and it will also offer training to fortification regulators, food science post-graduate students from JKUAT as well as millers,” said Prof. Sila
Prof. Sila also added that the main focus on the food samples will mainly be on maize, wheat, salt and vegetable oil and fat, in line with the national food fortification legislation.
Also present during the launch was the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance Prof. Otoki Moirongo and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Production and Extension Prof. Mary Abukutsa.