Nutrient composition of some Pacific Island food crops and bushfoods
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ACIAR Research Program Manager
The objective of this project is to strengthen the expertise of the Nutritional Analysis Unit through research on previously unanalysed Pacific foods, in close collaboration with the Australian Government Analytical Laboratory (AGAL) in Adelaide, Australia.
Specific research objectives include a comprehensive nutritional analysis of priority foods as nominated by the Pacific nations, duplicate analyses of the samples in Australia, and evaluation and validation of the analytical data for incorporation into food composition tables for publication.
Project Background and Objectives
Studies in several Pacific Islands in the last three decades have shown incremental declines in nutritional health of adults. The westernisation of traditional diets has resulted in developing nations showing rapid increases in chronic diet-related diseases such as non-insulin related diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, some cancers and gout. In some countries, such as Nauru, the decline has been dramatic with one in two adults suffering from diabetes where once the disease was unknown.
In 1987, the South Pacific Commission (SPC) set up a Pacific Islands Food Composition Programme (PIFCP) to develop a database of the composition of Pacific Island foods. Some information has come from direct analysis (ACIAR project 8204) but for other crops only indirect data is available based on similar foods grown elsewhere. PIFCP has supported the establishment of a Nutritional Analysis Unit at the University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, Fiji.
There are no project locations defined for this project.