Project set to bring nutrient-dense baobab to mass market

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

The fruits, leaves and other parts of the Baobab tree are an edible supply of important vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants. (© iStock.com/KarelGallas)
The fruits, leaves and other parts of the Baobab tree are an edible supply of important vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants. (© iStock.com/KarelGallas)
Baobab is set to become a significant and sustainable food source for Africa as international project Baofood harnesses its economic value to benefit the local population.

The fruits, leaves and other parts of the Baobab tree are an edible supply of important vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants.

The fruit pulp is of high nutritional value, especially for calcium and vitamin C, which has prebiotic and antioxidant functions and high dietary fibre content.

Other parts of the baobab such as the young roots and oil from the seeds also provide valuable nutrients and are eaten either regularly or in times of food scarcity.

The collaboration, which brings together researchers from the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences and research institutions, NGOs and industry from Germany, Kenya, Sudan, Malawi and the UK, believes the tree could ease the supply of nutritious food needed in the region.

It could also become a model to create income for the rural communities in Eastern Africa.

Baofood consortium

Baobab fruit
The fruit pulp is of high nutritional value with high levels of calcium and vitamin C. (© iStock.com)

The two objectives form the project, which is receiving funding from the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL), is also looking to assess and document the geographical range of baobab tree species.

The team wants to preserve and protect the baobab tree as a natural resource while also developing recommendations for the sustainable cultivation and domestication of the baobab for commercial use.

The commercial use of baobab-based products has largely been held back by the tree’s scarcity, inconsistent quality in plant materials, a lack of cultivation and processing technology and underdeveloped market chains.

However, the nutritional value of the tree has long been known amongst the local communities, who create baobab-infused products such as juice, sweets and snacks.

EU Acceptance

europe asia africa world global map iStock.com Polhansen
The Baobab fruit is a popular source of nutrition for the rural communities in Eastern Africa.(© iStock.com/polhansen)

Since 2008 dried baobab fruit pulp has been accepted as a novel food ingredient in the European Union (CEC 2008).

According to the research team, this signifies an expansion to meet demand and expand market access.

The team also believes this may present an incentive for conservation through the use or even domestication of this resource.

Baobab has received scant attention here in Europe, with start-up firm Aduna leading the way in reaching out to Northern Ghana in responsibly sourcing the baobab.

Aduna Baobab is now sold in Liberty and Selfridges’ beauty halls in the UK. Further listings have been achieved with retailers such as Publicis Drugstore and Bon Marche (Paris), and Alara (Lagos).

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Are you a 40 + Man?

Are you a 40 + Man?

Chemical Resources (CHERESO) | 05-Feb-2018 | Data Sheet

Urinary problems like frequency, dribbling are common among men above 40. Prosman is a natural, clinically evaluated and patented ingredient for the management...

Adulteration: Don’t Be Fooled, Know the Facts

Adulteration: Don’t Be Fooled, Know the Facts

Sabinsa: our innovation is your answer® | 15-Jan-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Increased knowledge and awareness of natural products has in turn increased their global demand. This well documented paper highlights various examples,...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars