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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Food experts collaborate to eliminate trans-fatty acids in Zimbabwe

Story by Ruvarashe Mariga

Food experts and other stakeholders are tackling the deadly threat of industrially produced trans-fatty acids in Zimbabwe’s food systems to save thousands of lives.

Food experts from the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) are collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the widespread presence of trans-fatty acids in the African continent’s food systems.

The initiative comes at a time when WHO has revealed that around 278 000 deaths recorded each year globally are attributed to the intake of industrially produced trans-fatty acids.

“Trans-fatty acids are a silent killer, causing heart disease, stroke, and cancer. We must act now to eliminate them from our food systems and save countless lives,” said HIT’s Senior Lecturer of Food Processing Technology, Dr Melody Hove-Ndemera.

The Chinhoyi University of Technology, School of Health Sciences and Technology, Executive Dean, Professor Kudakwashe Chitindingu disclosed the two institutions have resolved to incorporate the food industry to solve the issue.

“We will be incorporating National Foods, Fast Food Corporation, and food processors onboard to address the issue of trans fat acids in our food systems. These industry leaders will join us in our mission to eliminate trans-fatty acids and promote a healthier food culture in Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Administration, Professor Tichaona Mpofu has commended the Second Republic for pioneering the Education 5.0 model and fostering a collaborative environment where academia and industry converge to drive innovation.

“This approach has brought together experts from the Harare Institute of Technology and Chinhoyi University of Technology to tackle the pressing issue of trans fat acids in our food systems and we are confident that their combined expertise will yield effective solutions to protect the health and well-being of our citizens.”

The country is on a drive to build resilience, foster healthy citizens, vibrant communities and a strong nation with thriving economies and sustainable development.

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