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Notes from the history of SCIVU
(Science Council of IVU)

From The British Vegetarian, March/April 1967:



FOOD HABITS IN WESTERN TROPICAL AFRICA. Francis Aylward. Fruit and Veg. Preservation Res. Assoc., Chipping Camden. Chem. and md., 1966. 1624-1627.

The paper is based on surveys over two years carried out by the author for F.A.O. Foods of vegetable origin, both indigenous and introduced from abroad, are predominant and include maize, millet and sorghums, rice, manioc (cassava), yams, and plantains as the major sources. The protein of oil-seeds represents an important potential source of protein in several regions, and the use of green leaves, e.g., manioc, is an important supplement. The consumption of animal foods is small, but egg production has shown a significant increase and is believed to offer the quickest means of increasing the protein content of the diet. A rapid post-war increase in the consumption of wheat bread is noted, but represents a drain on financial resurces. (W.66.) J. Lucas.

R. Rajalakshmi, Kalindi Nanavaty and Asha Gumashta. M.S. University, Baroda. J. Nutr. Dietet., 1964, 1, 276.

In poor Indian families total daily niacin intake per head may be only 2.1mg., and even in upper-income group only 7.3 mg., as compared with 10-15mg. recommended allowance. Deducting unavailable bound niacin, the free niacin intakes may indicate a serious deficiency of the vitamin in the raw food. Percentages of bound niacin in maize set free by roasting (47), pressure cooking (16), cooking into chapaties (19). Roasting: rice (26), bengal gram (100), peas (94). Roasted fenugreek seeds, often added at about 5% to maize when making bread or chapaties, may significantly increase the free niacin values, which are also considerably increased by germinating the seeds. Fenugreek leaves cooked in tamarind juice by usual methods also showed marked increases.(W49.) F. Wokes.

EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTARY PROTEIN FOOD BASED ON SOYA, GROUNDNUT AND COCONUT FLOURS ON GROWTH AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF BOYS ON INADEQUATE DIETS. By T. R. Doraiswamy, P. K. Tasker, M. Narayana Rao, A. N. Sankaran and M. Swaminathan. Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore J. Nutr. Dietet., 1964, 1, 281.

The basal diet of boys in a boarding school in Mysore contained only 73% of the kcals. and 66% of the protein standards recommended by I.C.M.R. Nutrition Advisory Committee. An experimental group of twenty-five boys aged five to twelve years were given for six months 54 g. per head daily of the supplementary food containing 40% vegetable protein fortified with minerals and vitamins, increasing their intakes of calories to 84% and of protein to 106% of standards, also making good deficiencies in minerals and vitamins. A similar control group received extra rice and sugar, increasing their intakes of calories to 84% and of protein to 73% of standards. The mean increases in height, weight, haemoglobin level and red blood cell count in experimental group were significantly higher than in control group. Nutritional status improved in seventeen of experimental group but only in six of control group. After three months on the diets, metabolism experiments on eight boys from each group showed their reten-tions of calcium and nitrogen to be significantly higher in the experimental group (T. R. Doraiswamy, et a!., J. Nutr. Dietet., 1964, 1, 285). Hence processed vegetable protein foods based on soya, groundnut, chickpea and coconut flours and fortified with minerals and vitamins can be effective supplements to inadequate diets of children. (W.50.) F. Wokes.

LEAF PROTEIN AS A HUMAN FOOD. N. W. Pine. Biochemistry Dept.. Rothamsted Exper. Station, Harpenden, Herts., England. Science, 1966, 152, 1701-1705.

Critical review of the topic. Fodder which is suitable, otherwise only for ruminants, is converted for human beings to eat: the ruminant animal can be by-passed. Sugar-beet tops and waste from pea-canning are suitable: also leaves of jute, sugar cane, sweet potato and mater-hyacinth. Domestic mincer (375-W) yields 10 to 20 kg. pulp/hour; machines of 15 kw. yield 2 ton/hour. Extraction is 50% to 75% efficient. The pulp is pressed and extract coagulated with acid or salt or by ageing. It is washed and pressed to a dark green solid, like cheese, tasting of spinach or tea. The colour car be leached out. The protein surpasses that in seed proteins, and equals that in animal products except milk and eggs. The food value changes on storage. Experiments prove its worth as a food. It can be incorporated in ravioli and rissoles.

The equipment is in use in Jamaica, Israel and India, and will be going into operation in Uganda and New Guinea. Yields of 1,000 kg./hectare should be feasible. The soluble leaf components may be used for industrial microbiology.

This work languishes through lack of support from prosperous countries and lack of means in those standing to benefit. This is a time for a change in food habits. (W.59.) A. Long.

RELATION OF SUB-ACUTE COMBINED DEGENERATION OF THE CORD TO VITAMIN B,, DEFICIENCY. Dr. J. Wilson and Dr. M. J. S. Langman. M.R.E Institute of Neurology, London, and University College Hospital London. Nature, 1966, 212 (5064), 787-89.

A cyanide pool exists in the body and results from the enzyme oxidation of thiocyanate in diet ; it may be increased by excessive smoking or by a deficiency of B12 in plasma, which assists removal through an exchange process with hydroxocobalamin. Examination of the records of patients at two hospitals shows that the incidence of sub-acute combined degeneration among men is greater in the case of smokers. An absence of neurological complications in the case of patients with pernicious anaemia is associated with a low concentration of the thiocyanate oxidase, which is proportional to the quantity of red blond cells ; when folic acid is administered to increase the red cell mass neurological complications may then follow due an increase in oxidase and hence of the cyanide pool. (W.92.) J. W. Lucas

EXPERIMENTAL DETOXIFICATION OF GROUNDNUT MEALS CONTAINING A TOXIN. T. J. Coomes et al. Tropical Products Institute, London, W.C.1. Nature, 1966, 209 (5021), 406.

Autoclaving of wet groundnut meals containing aflatoxin B, result-progressive reduction of toxicity as determined by analysis and biological testing. (W.57.) J. W. Lucas.