Addis Ababa, October 28, 2022 (FBC) – Ethiopian researcher and associate professor Helen Wolde-Mickael’s idea to improve traditional processing of a staple domestic product has won the top prize in a food safety challenge.

In April, USAID-funded ‘Feed the Future Initiative, EatSafe: Evidence and Action towards Safe, Nutritious Food’, launched a call to apply for an innovation challenge.

According to the report by LexBlog, the competition aimed to enable lasting improvements in the safety of nutritious foods in Ethiopia and Nigeria, and more than 750 applications were received.

Ten concepts were chosen as finalists in the EatSafe National Innovation Challenge pitch events in both countries: five from Nigeria and five from Ethiopia.

The top three from both countries went through to the finals at the Technical University of Denmark Skylab FoodLab (DTU), Lyngby in October.

Ethiopia’s top 3 finalists were Helen Welde-Mickael, Yezichalem Tessema, and Eyoel Legesse Arega. Meanwhile, there were also other top three finalists from Nigeria.

Helen, an Associate Professor at Wolkite University, was awarded as the overall winner for her mechanized processing innovation to improve the safety and increase the efficiency of processing ‘enset’, which is a staple food to about 20 million Ethiopians.

“It has been a great opportunity to represent my country at such a global event. I would like to express my gratitude to those who led the event and support providers for giving me a chance to deliver safe food to my community by reducing the workload of women,” she said.

Design and development of processing equipment and starter cultures should optimize, standardize and transform ‘kocho’ into a commercial-level product, she added.

The EatSafe Consortium includes the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Pierce Mill Entertainment and Education, and Busara Center for Behavioral Economics.

The winner, Associate Professor Helen Wolde-Mickael, was awarded $10,000 from the organizers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>