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Achievements

Our Contribution to National Development

The major achievements of the CSIR-Food Research Institute over the years are recognized in terms of their significant contribution to the Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Health and Education Sectors of the national economy:

Food Production Development

Appropriate technologies have been developed and transferred for the production of several new convenience foods which are either adequate alternatives to imported materials or have export potential.

These include Root and Tuber-based convenience foods such as fortified gari, improved kokonte flour, agbelima flour and fufu powders (yam, cocoyam and plantain), as well as cereal/legume-based convenience foods such as Dehydrated Fermented Maize Meal, High protein Infant Weaning Foods, Composite Flours and High Quality Legume Flours. The local production, utilization and export of some of these products constitute a large saving on foreign exchange for the country. 

Development of technologies used as solutions for Industrial Problems

The Institute has employed the expertise of its staff to solve technical problems In various industries, which would otherwise have been crippled, by these problems. As a result the operations of these companies have been sustained; jobs maintained and social harmony ensued. Some examples are as follows:

  • To reduce the nation’s import of wheat flour matrons, bakers and caterers in different regions (Central, Western and Greater Accra regions) of the country have been trained in the use of alternative flours such as high quality cassava flour, yam flour, cocoyam flour, potato flour and cowpea flour.
  • The quality, stability and acceptability of snail meat through newer processing methods have been studied and technology transferred to snail meat processors.
  • There have been the improvement of processes that enhance the control of safety, sensory and nutritional quality of kenkey, these processes have been transferred to kenkey producers.
  • A strong pungent aroma is characteristic of dawadawa, through added processes, this pungent aroma has been reduced and technologies transferred to producers in the Northern region.
  • Over 10,000 tons of fresh cassava have been moved through the cassava value chain for the production of high quality cassava grits, high quality cassava flour, kokonte and gari to various end-users.
  • There have been activities involved in the increase in micronutrients of foods fed to school children using underutilized fish species.
  • There have been the construction of an Agribusiness Incubation Centre for the production of glucose syrup and ethanol for pharmaceutical and confectionary utilization.

Analytical and Technical Service Support to Industry

The Institute renders technical and analytical services to several local food industries on regular basis. Regular and consistent provision of good quality analytical service and advice to industry has helped several industries to monitor the quality of their products and guarantee a product of consistent quality to consumers. So far over 90 industries, enterprises etc benefit from the regular analytical services of the Institute. Institute expertise and facilities are also used by budding enterprises in product development, equipment identification and selection. The Institute has also supported large companies such as UNILEVER in pilot scale development and production of new foods over the past ten years.

Design and Construction of Food Processing Equipment

The Institute has designed and constructed high performance hot air dryers, flour sifters, cassava graters, hammer mills, and other food processing equipment that have helped various local food processing industries to establish their businesses while saving on imported alternatives to these equipment.

Training in Microbiological Safety and Quality Control

The Institute has trained several quality control officers and technical staff of various industries in the microbiological safety and quality control of foods. This has led to improvement in the quality of manufactured food products and has automatically impacted on the health and productivity of the population.

Training of local Entrepreneurs

A number of potential local entrepreneurs have been trained in technologies developed by the institute. These technologies include, fish smoking, fruit and vegetable processing, salt Iodation, mushroom production, cassava processing, soy milk and soy flour production etc. Most of the trainees have set up businesses based on the technologies and are producing to meet the needs of both the local and export markets. The result is that jobs have been created, foreign exchange is earned and the livelihoods of people improved. Notable among some of these entrepreneurs are: Elsa Foods, Gracem Enterprise, Darkruby Enterprise, and Ebenut.

Development of Marketable Technologies

  • The Institute has assisted various enterprises with appropriate technologies to produce shelf-stable agbelima flour on commercial scale. The enterprises include Elsa Foods, Praise Export Services and Neat Foods.
  • Development and Application of HACCP Systems for Food Quality Assurance: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems have been developed for traditional small- and medium-scale enterprises to enhance competitiveness in international trade.
  • Development and transfer of improved rice post-production and marketing technologies to enhance rural livelihoods in Northern Ghana: Improved rice post-production and marketing systems have been developed and transferred to enhance rural livelihoods in northern Ghana. This project is helping to reduce rice imports through the development of the Rice Industry for improved quality product. Promotional strategies to introduce suitable technologies and practical solutions for the improvement of locally parboiled rice have been developed, with a view to increasing the income of all stakeholders in the production chain and improving product quality and safety, making the local rice more competitive.
  • Mushroom Cultivation: The Institute has been involved with training and extension activities for the general public, entrepreneurs and individuals on mushroom cultivation and spawn production. Technologies such as production of mushrooms from rice by-products and the use of elephant grass and thatch for the production of edible and medicinal mushrooms. Not less than 300 participants have been trained within the past five years. Most of the trainees have established small-scale mushroom farming units with spawn provided by the Institute. On-site training programmes have also been conducted for participants in the Volta, Ashanti, Eastern and Central Regions of Ghana within the period. The Institute also assisted the Christian Rural Aid Network (CRAN) to set up a compost bag unitat Woete in the Volta region.
  • There have been the development and promotion of technologies for production of High Quality Cassava Flour and glucose Syrup from Cassava: Technologies have been developed and transferred to facilitate a sustainable uptake of cassava as an industrial commodity. Significant among these are the technology for the production of high quality cassava flour (HQCF) and the adapted and fine-tuned technology for the production of glucose syrup from the HQCF for use in the manufacture of biscuits, confectionery, soft drinks and other food products. The Amasa Agro Processing Company and Rodmends Company Ltd are now producing the HQCF for use by Western Veneer and Lumber Company Ltd. in Takoradi and Oti Saw Mills in Sunyani in place of imported wheat flour for plywood manufacture. Afrimart is producing the glucose syrup for Long Life Confectionery for manufacture of biscuits and sweets. Hitherto, no industry in Ghana produced glucose syrup and, before this innovation, over 500 metric tons of glucose syrup was imported annually into the country for use in various industries.

The Institute has over the years played a significant role in developing appropriate technologies for storage and preservation as well as adding value to various food commodities to reduce post-harvest losses. Also significant is the Institute's unique efforts at embarking on projects aimed at addressing livelihood constraints of farm families through promotion of small-scale processing activities to improve their incomes for enhanced household food and nutrition security. Some of the achievements in this area are stated below.

  • Development and promotion of improved storage cribs: The Institute developed and promoted improved storage cribs for maize through field demonstrations in various districts, to help reduce post¬harvest losses. Simple hand shellers were also introduced to farmers.
  • Contribution to Development of Improved Crop Varieties: The Institute contributed to agricultural development through screening and selection of improved varieties of cereals, legumes, and root and tubers for anti-nutritional factors and suitability for processing and local dish preparation. This is in support of the varietal development activities of the agricultural based Institutes of the CSIR.
  • Development, Promotion and Transfer of Bambara Processinq Technologies to Enhance Rural Livelihoods in Northern Ghana: The Food Research Institute has developed and promoted bambara processing and utilization technologies for improved food security and livelihood of poor households in the Gushiegu-Karaga, Tolon-Kumbugu, Savelugu-Nanton districts, and the Tamale municipality in northern Ghana. The technology has been transferred to two entrepreneurs as well as 219 women engaged in micro-scale bambara processing in the four districts. Over 370 women have been exposed to household application of the technology through field demonstrations.
  • Formulation of Recipes: Recipes and Recipe Manuals have been developed for diversified uses of sweet potatoes,cassava,soybean, cowpea and maize. The Institute has trained community bakers in Agona Nkwanta, Ahanta West District of the Western Region on the use of cassava, sweet potato and cowpea flours. There has also been training of kitchen staff of senior high schools, Ghana Prisons Service and commercial bakers in composite bread making using high quality cassava flour. These has enhanced the utilization of the various commodities for increased agricultural production and food security.
  • Establishment of cassava processing plants in Rural Communities: The Institute has sourced funds through collaborative projects to set up cassava processing plants for various cassava producing communities in the country. This is greatly enhancing the scale of cassava processing and reducing post-harvest losses. Four cassava-processnq units have been established for beneficiary communities in Mantsi (Greater Accra), Doblo-Gonno (Greater Accra), Brofoyeduro (Central Region), and Beposo Nkran (Western Region). With the strengthening of the technological capacities of the four cassava producing communities in processing, production levels have increased and income generation enhanced. Effective Management systems have been established and this has led to sustainability of the operations. Again, several Cassava Flour Pilot Plants have been established in various districts. Two of such Pilot Plants are fully operational throughout the year at Amanase near Suhum and Adidwan near Asante Mampong. In addition the Institute has been able to construct a total of 52 improved gari production stoves for various beneficiary groups in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions of the country.

The health sector has benefitted from the activities of the Institute through our community nutrition interventions, food safety awareness creation, development and promotion of technologies for weaning foods as well as addressing food related health hazards through research. Some of the achievements in this area are as follows:

Food Safety:

Food safety awareness has been created through screening of raw and processed foods for mycotoxins, heavy metal contamination, agrochemical residues, pathogens etc., and advice given on preventive measures.

Safety of Street Foods:

The extent of hazards from heavy metals and microbiological contamination in street foods in Accra has been evaluated and the sources of some of the heavy metal and microbiological contaminations identified. Economically viable and socially acceptable control measures for reducing the hazards to acceptable levels have been determined and verified. Consultative document on street foods has been completed and disseminated to lawmakers/ regulatory bodies, enforcement agencies, NGOs and other appropriate ministries.

Improved Nutritional Status of Rural Communities:

The nutritional and health status of some farming communities have been improved through development and extension of household legume processing and utilization technologies. There has also been a fortification programme with premix of cereal flour and micronutrients in 12 rural communities in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions of Ghana.

Biological Degradation of Aflatoxins:

In collaboration with other scientists from Germany and Nigeria, the Institute has been able to isolate and identify an organism that is able to break down aflatoxin.

Generate scientific information for teaching at tertiary level:

  • High level staff members who are part-time lecturers of the Universities
  • External Examiners for graduate students
  • Supervise and offer facilities for post-graduate training
  • Internship for 2nd and 3rd –Year Students from the Universities
  • Practical Training for tertiary students on attachment annually
  • Run training programmes for teachers in specific areas

Activities of the Institute

In order to achieve the mission, vision and goal of the Institute, its programmes are centred on market oriented Research & Development activities for the solution of postharvest problems in Ghana and also to generate income. The main objectives of its activities are:

  • To develop and provide technical information, training and consultancy services to the private sector and other stakeholders in the food agro-processing industry.
  • To transfer appropriate technology packages for agro-processing and storage of raw agricultural produce to facilitate curtailment of post-harvest losses and promote value addition for local and export markets.
  • To strengthen the Institute's capability and linkages with the agro-processing industry through human resource and infrastructural development, restructuring and re-organisation for effective commercialization of operations.

To accomplish its objectives, the activities of the Institute are classified under the following programmes to cover the national food commodity security and sovereignty:

  • Root and Tuber products
  • Cereal grains and Legume products
  • Meat fish and dairy products
  • Fruit vegetable and spice products
  • Technology business incubation

Areas of Commercialization include:

    Collaborative Research
  • Consultancy, Training and throughput Technology Transfer
  • Technical and Analytical Services
  • Sale of Research By-Products
  • Equipment design and fabrication
  • Hiring of Food Processing Facilities

Food Research Institute is located Adjacent to Ghana Standards Authority, Near Gulf House, Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, Accra, Ghana. We are open to the general public from Monday to Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm, excluding holidays. If you need any additional information or have a question, please contact us on 0302-519092-5 or email us at info@foodresearchgh.org or director@foodresearchgh.org.

© 2017 Food Research Institute.