Issue No. 14 July 2012 Bitter gourds galore! As the growing season continues, while fresh bitter gourds are being harvested in one field, new seedling are sprouting in another. The old has gone and the new is coming, the cycle of life keeps turning. Everyone is busy at work! OUTPUT 1 – Baseline Surveys Medical Experts and Diabetes Patients Survey: Good news can be shared for the survey conducted last year at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania among diabetic patients in regard to their knowledge on bitter gourd and diabetes. Christine Ludwig of Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), Germany and her colleagues submitted an abstract “Knowledge and usage of bitter gourd as an anti-diabetic plant in Tanzania” to the Tropentag 2012 in Goettingen, Germany as well as to the Nutrition Congress Africa 2012 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Both abstracts were accepted as poster presentation and Christine is happy to present results of the Bitter Gourd Project in Goettingen and Bloemfontein in September and October, respectively. Newsletter Contact: [email protected] Newsletter Contact: [email protected] Tropentag 2012 © 2012 Bitter Gourd Project. Issue No. 14 Bitter Gourd Project NEWS July 2012 OUTPUT 2 and 3 – Germplasm Evaluation and Factorial Studies Bitter Gourd Trials: The second season bitter gourd trial conducted at AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center in Taiwan has finished collecting samples for both the horticultural evaluations and nutritional analyses. Congratulations to AVRDC Cucurbit and Nutrition groups! OUTPUT 4 – Efficacy Studies Human Trial Moshi, TANZANIA The data collection for the food and physical activity frequency questionnaire validation for the upcoming human trial in the Moshi area is completed. The research team, strongly supported by Dr. Mark Swai of KCMC, was happy to finish the data collection in time. A total of 117 participants were included. Complete data sets are available from approximately 100 participants. Data were collected in regard to dietary intake, physical activity, fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, and anthropometrics. All participants were provided with snacks and information factsheets on bitter gourd and healthy lifestyle after assessment days. They furthermore received a chart with their assessed values. Now, two master students from JLU are working on data entry and analysis. Ms. Andrea Fongar will validate the dietary intake and physical activity assessment tools. Ms. Kathrin Demmler will analyze the situation in regard to nutrition transition and risk of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in the study area. Preliminary results show that the mean fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level and Body Mass Index (BMI) are higher in the urban area than in the village where it is still in the normal range. Mean BMI and FPG in the urban area are in the pre-diabetic range. Detailed results will follow and communicated in the BiG project news. In Pictures: 1. Research team for validation study (left to right): Ms. Aneth Kiliyanga (Nutritionist, KCMC), Ms. Molllel and Ms. Sijan Mallya (Nurses, KCMC), and Ms. Kathrin Demmler and Andrea Fongar (M.Sc. students, JLU) 1 2 2. Snacks for participants after assessment procedure and information factsheets on bitter gourd and healthy lifestyle 3. Measurement tools used to estimate the amount of food intake 3 4 4. Staff and participants during assessment day During this month, the staff of KCMC had a juice tasting in preparations for the human trial. Two juices will be used for the study, one containing bitter gourd while the other contained cucumber. The bitter taste of the Newsletter Contact: [email protected] © 2012 Bitter Gourd Project. Issue No. 14 Bitter Gourd Project NEWS July 2012 juice powders were masked for the blinded study. After receiving the sample juice powders, the staffs were eager to try the taste. The tasting team found the contents of Juice A and Juice B having a pleasant natural taste, which could be compared with avocado juice and will be acceptable to the participants. Here are some pictures to show! In Pictures: 1-2. Bitter gourd juice preparations can be fun! See Dr. Nyasutu (top) and Ms. Gloria Salla Damian (bottom)’s bright smiles as they mix the powders with water 3 3. Once the juices are prepared and labelled, the green color sure pops out of the glass 1 4. Trying the juices (from left to right): Dr. Mark Swai, Dr. Nyasutu, and Head of KCMC Diabetes Clinic, Dr. Lyaruu 4 2 5. Ms. Gloria Salla Damian (right) tries the juice with her colleagues. In August, Ms. Damian will be participating in developing bitter gourd recipes for Tanzania at AVRDC in Taiwan 5 Shanhua, TAIWAN AVRDC Cucurbit group has planted the bitter gourds that will be used for the upcoming human trial. The team, led by Mr. Chung-cheng Lin is expected to harvest in August more than 500 kg of bitter gourd and 1000 kg of cucumber. Go TEAM! In Pictures: 1. The newly planted bitter gourd plants 2. Stakes are up as a worker sets up the net for the bitter gourds to climb 1 Newsletter Contact: [email protected] 2 3 3. Dr. Sandra Habicht visiting the bitter gourd field © 2012 Bitter Gourd Project. Issue No. 14 Bitter Gourd Project NEWS July 2012 From July to August, Ms. Jessica Louie from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA is interning in AVRDCNutrition. Ms. Louie’s work is supervised by Dr. Ray-yu Yang, Dr. Sandra Habicht and Ms. Hsin-I Wang. Her research is on developing a protocol for evaluating the effect of different food preparation, and processing methods on the anti-diabetic activity of bitter gourd. From harvesting to cooking and freezing, she has done it all! Now she is preparing methanol extracts from the bitter gourd products that she will later test in cell culture in regard to anti-diabetic activity. In Pictures: 1. Ms. Jessica Louie wearing the right gear ready to harvest the bitter gourds 2. The different postharvest processing methods used in Ms. Louie’s research: 2 \ 2 1 1) Control; 2) Drying without oil; 3) Drying with oil; 4) Blanching; 5) Stirfrying; 6) Simmering; 7) Deep-frying OUTPUT 7 – Promotion and Communications Yummy Bitter gourd! In the month of July, the bitter gourd team at Avinashilingam University for Women (AUW) in Coimbatore, India has been busing in the kitchen! They have developed many delicious bitter gourd recipes with a Southern Indian taste! From salad to stir-fry, the team has shared with us 5 new recipes! The recipes will be made available online at www.bitter-gourd.org soon! So keep your eyes open! Here is one bitter gourd salad recipe to try: Pavarkai Salad Ingredients: 1 Bitter gourd 1 onion – finely chopped 1 tsp Garlic – finely chopped 1 tsp Ginger – finely chopped 1 Tomato – finely chopped 2 tbsp Lime juice ½ tbsp Chili powder ½ tbsp Oil Salt to taste 1 cup Fresh Coriander – finely chopped Method: 1. Wash and finely sliced the bitter gourd without removing the seeds. 2. Apply salt on both sides, keep aside for half an hour and rinse with water twice. 3. Heat oil in pan, add the bitter gourd, sauté well for 6-7 minutes until turns to brown, drain and keep aside in separate vessel. 4. Add the onion, tomato, chili powder, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar and sauté well for 2-3 minutes until becomes soft. 5. Add the bitter gourd to the above ingredients and mix well. 6. Add the lime juice along with coriander and mix well. Newsletter Contact: [email protected] © 2012 Bitter Gourd Project. Bitter Gourd Project NEWS Issue No. 14 July 2012 And finally… CREATIVE BITTER GOURD! 12 year-old Vivian Chen from Shanhua, Taiwan and daughter of AVRDC’s Maggie Chen has submitted to the Bitter Gourd Project her version of what the project means to her. In her drawing, the bitter gourd is wearing a bandana with the Chinese words for “Victory” and holding a tape measure by its waist. As one of the ways bitter gourd helps manage diabetes is through weight loss, Vivian is showing the bitter gourd actively measuring its weight on the scale. Determination is the key to success! For fun, a real bitter gourd on a scale is put on the right of her drawing to show how good Vivian’s drawing skills are. Thank you Vivian for your creative contribution to the project!! Newsletter Contact: [email protected] © 2012 Bitter Gourd Project.
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