The Functional and Nutraceutical Food Research Section was inaugurated at the National Institute of Food Science and Technology of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad on Monday.
Prof Masood Sadiq Butt, the principal investigator at the section, said the facility would be used to undertake research on the commercial use of fruits, vegetables and edible roots.
He said currently they were conducting research on cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, black and green tea leaves and water melon.
He said researchers at the centre were studying the possible use of these in the treatment of cancer.
He said a cell culture laboratory would soon be established at the centre to conduct more experiments on the anti-cancer potential of different food products.
He said the UAF would market these products for treatment of diseases once research on their nutraceutical (a termed derived from the words nutrition and pharmaceutical for food items with health and medical benefits) use was completed.
He said the university would also urge farmers to grow products with medicinal uses to increase their earnings.
He said they were considering arranging sessions with farmers in villages surrounding Faisalabad to promote the activity.
The principal investigator said these products were most suitable for treatment of diseases like hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar in blood) and hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol in blood).
He said in the long-run the centre’s objective was to undertake research on enough food products to promote diet based therapy in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.