By Ebele Orakpo
Professor Ifeoma Enweani is a professor of medical microbiology, a lecturer in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi campus. In this chat with Vanguard in Nnewi, she speaks on two of her research products, from local underutilised crops saying that those who previously encouraged synthetic products have seen the enormous health issues emanating from synthetic products.
According to Professor Enweani who has a penchant for food microbiology, she enjoys bringing up 100 per cent organic foods without additives, that will improve health and wellbeing.
Going back to nature
“You will notice that people are getting interested in natural products because synthetic products have failed us. Even those who were encouraging synthetic products in the past have seen that the health issues coming up from synthetic products are enormous. A lot of diseases are linked to synthetic products.
“My father was a nurse. In addition to his practice of orthodox medicine, he used to process some fruits and other herbs, and administer to individuals, especially children who had persistent fever. I noticed that the fever would go down and rashes associated with measles would show up.
This assisted those who might have suffered from measles not knowing whether it was measles or not. So it was my desire to undertake research on these food products to ascertain their medicinal values, nutritional composition and phytochemical analysis. It will also be interesting to determine the antioxidant properties among others.
These herbs, including fruits in some cases, roots and leaves were collected from bushes and my post-graduate students have been working on them. We found out that these food crops are enriched with antioxidants. We took time to examine and analyse their phytochemical, micronutrient the nutritional compositions.
Besomic flour: Also called Onavita, is made from Ona, a yam species. It is made in a way that people can use it as fufu. Diabetics who consumed it realised that they felt better; no sugar spikes had a sense of wellness and felt light. Onavita is gluten and cholesterol-free and has a lot of antioxidants. Among all the yam species, ona species has higher quantity of protein with low carbohydrate content and helps to maintain the body’s sugar level.
Besomic Fruit juice: This is made from a wild fruit, Nauclea species. This fruit juice is 100 per cent organic, no cholesterol and the phytochemical and micronutrients compositions were ascertained. Volunteers tested it and testified that the product maintains the sugar level and brings down the sugar level in the diabetic.
Some of the volunteers were diabetic with diabetic complications, some had asthma, otitis media, stomach ache, arthritis, body ache etc, all consumed the juice and felt better. So this natural product is more than a fruit juice; it’s a health drink
The research continues. and we hope to commence clinical trials to get more information on the physiological changes that go on in these volunteers who testified about the efficacy of the products. With evidences supporting these claims, NAFDAC registration will be sought for as the products have already been assigned with Trade mark numbers.