Publications

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tylosema esculentum (morama) is a highly valued traditional food and source of medicine for the San and other indigenous populations that inhabit the arid to semi-arid parts of Southern Africa. Morama beans are a rich source of phenolic acids, flavonoids, certain fatty acids, non-essential amino acids, certain phytosterols, tannins and minerals. The plant's tuber contains griffonilide, behenic acid and starch. Concoctions of extracts from morama bean, tuber and other local plants are frequently used to treat diarrhoea and digestive disorders by the San and other indigenous populations. Information on composition and bioactivity of phytochemical components of T. esculentum suggests that the polyphenol-rich extracts of the bean testae and cotyledons have great potential as sources of chemicals that inhibit infectious microorganisms (viral, bacterial and fungal, including drug-resistant strains), offer protection against certain non-communicable diseases and promote wound healing and gut health. The potential antinutritional properties of a few morama components are also highlighted. More research is necessary to reveal the full prophylactic and therapeutic potential of the plant against diseases of the current century. Research on domestication and conservation of the plant offers new hope for sustainable utilisation of the plant. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Phytotherapy Research
  • Jose Jackson · Owen Blake · Andre Gordon
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many common foods that are widely consumed in temperate countries contain natural toxins. These include potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), which contain glycoalkaloids; rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum), which contains oxalic acid and anthraquinones; and eggplant (aubergine – Solanum melongena), which contains histamines. Consumption of these foods has not been restricted because consumers know how to handle them properly, resulting in a tolerable risk. Traditional fruits and vegetables from developing countries that also contain natural toxins, like cassava (Manihot esculenta), which contains cyanogenic glycosides, bok choy (Brassica rapa), which contains glucosinolates, and ackee (Blighia sapida), which contains hypoglycin A (HGA), are also now among food choices in developed countries. This chapter examines the issue of the food safety of plant-based foods that contain known natural toxins with a focus on traditional food from developing countries. It examines the issue of the toxicity of HGA, including its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and median lethal dose (LD50) in the context of other well-known toxicants in food products. It reviews consumption and toxin-intake data and uses ackee as an example of how traditional foods from developing countries whose toxicological properties are known can be routinely consumed in a manner that ensures safety.
    No preview · Chapter · Jun 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose - Identifying and addressing poor nutritional status in school-aged children is often not prioritized relative to HIV/AIDS treatment. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the benefits of integrating nutrition (assessment and culturally acceptable food supplement intervention) in the treatment strategy for this target group. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted a randomized, double blind pre-/post-intervention trial with 201 HIV-positive children (six to 15 years) in Botswana. Eligibility included CD4 cell counts < 700/mm3 (a marker for the severity of HIV infection), documented treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, and no reported evidence of taking supplemental food products with one or more added nutrients in the six-month period prior to the study. The intervention
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Health Education
  • Jose Jackson
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Papaya, a nutritious tropical fruit, is consumed both in its fresh form and as a processed product worldwide. Major quality indices which include firmness, acidity, pH, colour and size, are cultivar dependent. Transgenic papayas engineered for resistance to Papaya ringspot virus were evaluated over the ripening period to address physicochemical quality attributes and food safety concerns. With the exception of one transgenic line, no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed in firmness, acidity and pH. Lightness (L*) and redness (a*) of the pulps of non-transgenic and transgenic papaya were similar but varied over the ripening period (P < 0.05). Fruit mass though non-uniform (P < 0.05) for some lines was within the range reported for similar papaya cultivars as were shape indices of female fruits. Transgene proteins, CP and NPTII, were not detected in fruit pulp at the table-ready stage. The findings suggest that transformation did not produce any major unintended alterations in the physicochemical attributes of the transgenic papayas. Transgene proteins in the edible fruit pulp were low or undetectable.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wild Fruits of Africa (Pty) Ltd (hereafter referred to as Wild Fruits) is an emerging agribusiness based outside Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Frank Taylor, the CEO, has spent much of his life researching indigenous plants, and is currently commercializing natural food products made from local fruits. Wild Fruits collects wild fruits harvested by rural villagers who have limited income-generating opportunities. Wild Fruits processes the fruit to make healthy snacks targeting the country's growing tourism industry. The company is currently marketing and distributing its products to airlines, supermarkets, and safari lodges in Botswana, and is now seeking expansion into regional markets. This case illustrates the challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs in a niche market, as well as issues surrounding blended-value businesses in Southern Africa.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · The International Food and Agribusiness Management Review
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to study the quality of porridge made from cereal legume composite flour and to compare with a porridge that it is traditionally eaten. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The nutritional composition as well as protein, microbiological, and sensory quality of porridge from a sorghum bean composite flour was assessed and compared with sorghum porridge (SP) that is traditionally eaten in Botswana. Findings ‐ Results indicated that the nutrient composition and the protein quality of the sorghum bean composite porridge were significantly higher than that of the SP. The majority of children and adults rated the sensory attributes of the sorghum composite porridge highly and adult consumers indicated willingness to buy it. Originality/value ‐ The study demonstrates that using traditionally consumed foods, which are culturally acceptable and low cost, such as sorghum and sugar beans, can improve nutritional and sensory attributes when composited. These composited foods can then be recommended as a sustainable supplementary food source to improve the nutritional status and health of vulnerable populations such as HIV+ children.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Nutrition & Food Science
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morama bean (Tylosema esculentum) is one of the wild legumes that grow in some parts of the Southern African countries like Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. A descriptive survey research design was conducted to assess consumers' knowledge, perceptions and utilization of Morama bean in Botswana. A structured questionnaire was used for face to face interviews. Results indicated that a high percentage of families use Morama beans for food. Other minor uses included decoration and medicine. The majority of respondents indicated that they were unaware of the nutritional qualities of the bean and of any Morama products available in the market. However, they did indicate that they would like to see Morama bean as part of some food products in the market. Development of viable Morama bean products can play a significant role in encouraging farmers to cultivate Morama on a commercial level – a wish expressed by some respondents. However, there is a need to embark on educational programmes that are aimed at creating and increasing awareness on the importance of Morama bean and other similar uncultivated food crops. Knowledge about the role and benefits of indigenous foods in ensuring food security can help communities to utilize resources around them. The findings raised a number of issues that should be of interest to policy makers and the community as a whole. Follow-up of these findings may help in better utilization of Morama beans.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · International IJC
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine linkages between obesity, physical activity, and body image dissatisfaction, with consideration of socioeconomic status (SES) and urbanization in adolescents in Botswana. Materials and Methods. A nationally representative, cross-sectional survey in 707 secondary school students included measured height and weight to determine overweight (OW) or obesity (OB) using World Health Organization standards; physical activity (PA) using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; and body image satisfaction using the Body Ideals Questionnaire. SES was described by private school versus public school attendance. Results and Discussion. OW/OB students felt farther from ideal and greater dissatisfaction with their weight and body proportions than optimal weight students. Boys felt greater difference from ideal and more dissatisfaction with muscle tone, chest size, and strength than girls. Lower SES students and those from rural villages had more minutes of PA than higher SES or urban students. In this rapidly developing African country, these trends reflect the nutrition transition and offer opportunity to motivate OW/OB students and boys for PA as a health promotion obesity prevention behavior. Conclusions. As urbanization and improved SES are desirable and likely to continue, the public health system will be challenged to prevent obesity while preserving a healthy body image.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of obesity
  • André Gordon · José C. Jackson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper is to study the microbiological profile of the ackee fruit during maturation. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Ackees at ripening stage five, mature but unopened, were allowed to ripen naturally on the trees or on ripening racks used in commercial processing. The microbiological profile of fruits from this stage to that where they had ripened to the point just prior to decay (stage ten) were assessed. Aerobic and anaerobic mesophilic and thermophilic sporeformers and vegetative cells, total coliforms, E. coli, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and molds at each stage were determined using standard methods. Findings ‐ The number of microorganisms on the tree-ripened fruits was higher than those ripened on racks. Mesophilic aerobic and anaerobic spore-forming organisms were present in greater numbers than thermophiles at all stages of maturity. Coliforms, excluding E. coli, were found on the tree-ripened ackees particularly in the latter stages of ripening. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and molds found on both tree and rack-ripened fruit may be the predominant agents in the microbiological spoilage of ackees during ripening. Originality/value ‐ This study is the first to assess the microbiological profile of ackees during ripening. It indicated that the relatively low levels of microorganisms of economic or public health significance during both tree- and rack-ripening processes would not affect the commercial sterility of the canned product, even with a moderate thermal process (Fo of 3). It also suggests that controlled rack-ripening of ackee fruit during commercial processing could improve the microbial quality of the processed product.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Nutrition & Food Science
  • S.O. Mahgoub · M. Sabone · J. Jackson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Data on the glycaemic index (GI) of foods commonly consumed in Botswana are lacking. The present study aimed to evaluate the GI of some of the staple carbohydrate-rich foods eaten in Botswana. Design, setting and subjects: Fifty university student volunteers were divided into five groups. Members of each group consumed different test foods based on wheat, maize, sorghum, millet and morama beans to supply 50 g of available carbohydrate after 10-12 hours of overnight fasting. GI was determined using a standard method with white bread. Outcome measures: The GI values were calculated after measuring blood glucose levels before and after ingestion at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes. Results: The results showed a clear variation in the GI values for the same food when consumed by different individuals. In addition, variations were observed in the GI values of test foods based on the same material. On average, wheat-based foods exhibited the highest GI values (103.1), followed by millet-based foods (95.3), sorghum-based foods (92.5), maize-based foods (9.1) and morama-based foods (86.4). Of the tested food, mapakiwa (wheat-based) had the highest GI (110.6) whereas roasted morama had the lowest GI (82.8). Conclusion: These results could form the basis of dietary advice to consumers, and particularly patients with diabetes. Further studies are needed on more of the commonly consumed foods in Botswana.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • S. Mahgoub · M. Sabone · J. Jackson
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • Jose Jackson
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity and reproducibility of a 122-item interviewer-administered quantitative FFQ developed to determine food and nutrient intakes of adults in Botswana. DESIGN: Relative validity of the FFQ was evaluated by comparing nutrient and food group intakes against four non-consecutive 24 h recalls administered over 12 months. The FFQ was repeated after 1 year to assess reproducibility. SETTING: Kanye, Botswana. SUBJECTS: Seventy-nine adults aged 18-75 years. RESULTS: Spearman correlation coefficients for the validity of energy-adjusted nutrients ranged from 0·42 (carbohydrate) to 0·49 (protein) for macronutrients and from 0·23 (Fe) to 0·44 (PUFA) for micronutrients. Exact agreement of quartile distribution for nutrients between the FFQ and recalls ranged from 27 % to 72 %. Weighted kappa values were lowest for retinol (0·13), Fe (0·22) and β-carotene (0·25) and ranged from 0·33 (SFA) to 0·59 (folate) for other nutrients (energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, Ca and vitamin E). Spearman correlation coefficients between the recalls and FFQ for food groups ranged from 0·18 (dark green leafy and yellow vegetables) to 0·58 (poultry). Reproducibility correlation coefficients (energy-adjusted) varied between 0·39 for retinol and 0·66 for vitamin E, with most values falling between 0·50 and 0·60. CONCLUSIONS: The FFQ had good relative validity for estimating habitual food group and nutrient intakes, but was poor for some micronutrients (Fe, retinol and β-carotene) and foods (fruits and dark green leafy vegetables).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Public Health Nutrition
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies were carried out on cookies prepared by incorporating morama flour (10%, 20% and 30%) into wheat flour. The cookies including a 100% wheat flour as a control were evaluated for their physical, chemical, nutritional, textural and sensory characteristics. All of the cookie samples showed high fiber, mineral and protein contents when compared to those from 100% wheat flour. Incorporation of morama flour improved the color of the cookies from pale cream to golden brown, the cookies became crispier as indicated by the reduction in the breaking strength and they were nutritionally rich as compared to the 100% wheat flour cookies. In addition, morama flour increased the polyphenolic content and hence increased functional properties of the cookies compared to the control. The cookies were safe microbiologically as well as chemically up to 6 months of storage. Considering the physico-chemical and sensory properties of the cookies including the cost, 20% incorporation of morama flour was found to be the optimum formulation.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2012
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine two separate socioeconomic status (SES) indicators of obesity in Botswana, an African country that has experienced rapid economic development and where the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome is high. We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study of 707 adolescent secondary school students in Botswana. Measured height and weight were used to compute World Health Organization age- and sex-specific body mass index z-scores. SES was described by private vs. public school attendance and a survey of assets/facilities within the home. Overall, private school students and those with more assets had a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than public school students (private: 27.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 20.4-34.5; public: 13.1%, 95% CI: 9.8-16.8) and those with fewer assets (more assets: 20.0%, 95% CI: 16.0-24.4; fewer assets: 11.2%, 95% CI: 6.6-16.9). Public health interventions in developing countries may need to be targeted differently to low or high SES individuals in order to treat already high obesity rates in higher SES groups and to prevent the development of obesity in lower SES communities undergoing economic transition.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Pediatric Obesity
  • Jose Jackson
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2012
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective To describe patterns of food consumption associated with overweight/ obesity (OW/OB) and their links to socio-economic status (SES) and urbanization.Design A nationwide cross-sectional survey.Setting Secondary schools in cities, towns and villages in Botswana, Africa.Subjects A total of 746 adolescent schoolchildren.Results OW/OB is associated with greater SES, city residence and a snack-food diet pattern. Students belonging to higher SES compared with those from a lower SES background reported significantly (P < 0·01) more daily servings of snack foods (1·55 v. 0·76) and fewer servings of traditional diet foods (0·99 v. 1·68) and also reported that they ate meals outside the home more often (90 % v. 72 %). Students in cities ate significantly (P < 0·01) more servings of snacks (1·69 v. 1·05 v. 0·51) and fewer servings of traditional foods (0·67 v. 1·52 v. 1·61) compared with those in urban and rural villages. The odds of OW/OB were increased 1·16-fold with a snack-food diet, a result that was diminished when controlled for SES.Conclusions These data suggest that nutritional transition occurs at different rates across urbanization and SES levels in Botswana. In cities, increasing the availability of fruit while reducing access to or portion sizes of snack items is important. Emphasis on continued intake of traditional foods may also be helpful as rural areas undergo economic and infrastructural development.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Public Health Nutrition
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study's objectives were to gain school personnel's (1) perceptions on diet, physical activity, body size, and obesity, (2) description of school food and physical activity practices, and (3) recommendations for programs to prevent adolescent obesity. The study took place in six junior secondary schools of varying socioeconomic status in Gaborone, Botswana. Using a qualitative descriptive design, semistructured interviews were conducted with key school personnel. Directed content analysis was used to summarize the findings. School personnel believed that obesity was an important problem. They felt that school food was unhealthy and that physical activity was provided insufficiently. Participants shared enthusiasm for a school-based health-promoting intervention that must be fun and include active engagement and education on healthy lifestyles for all students. Participants supported on-site food shop inventory changes and physical activity programs. Potential barriers listed were schools' financial resources, interest of students, and time limitations of all involved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · The Journal of School Nursing
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Botswana, as in many developing countries, food fortification is a potential strategy for addressing the malnutrition of low income groups. This article examines the potential costs of mandatory fortification of sorghum and maize flour for firms in Botswana. The results indicate that unit average fortification costs in pula per metric ton of flour range from 183 to 271, 118 to 170 and 103 to 149 (US$1 = P6.4 in 2007), respectively, for a typical small, medium and large firm. It is argued that the imposition of mandatory fortification may be feasible for large and perhaps some medium firms. However, small and (some) medium firms, are likely to collapse and exit the industry as a result of such action. A potentially realistic and sustainable option for small firms would be to consolidate so as to increase their scale of operation and avoid absolute collapse. However, public funding may be required to support such consolidation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Development Southern Africa

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