JIS News

During the 2007/08 financial year, the Scientific Research Council (SRC) initiated the implementation of a project, which focused on the development of neutraceutical supplements from two selected Jamaican plants to address hypertension and diabetes.
As contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives recently by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, the project, funded in part by the National Health Fund (NHF), was a part of the in-house product development to drive the neutraceutical sector.
In addition, the SRC prepared a research proposal titled: ‘Glycemic indices of indigenous carbohydrate-rich Caribbean foods for management of type two diabetes mellitus in the Caribbean’. This was submitted to the NHF for funding with the objectives of developing low glycemic index foods for diabetes and to determine the glycemic index of commonly-eaten Caribbean foods.
Meanwhile, final drafts for standardization protocols and a formulation report for natural products including ginger, sorrel and turmeric were completed. Also completed were the extraction of selected plants and the re-confirmation of high levels of antioxidant activity for two local fruits.
Research continued on the characterization of extracts of sarsaparilla available in Jamaica and on the development of herbal teas used for purported health benefits.
Additionally, a one week mission was hosted from May 21 to 25, under an approved International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) project, to assist in the development of requirements for the design of laboratories, training and equipment needs for mutation-assisted breeding and plant disease diagnostics.
A technical co-operation document titled ‘National Project Concept’ was also prepared and submitted to the IAEA via the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). Also, training was provided to one SRC staff member in Austria and one in Mexico, while the SRC completed preparations of plant material for induced mutation.
Moreover, work on the development of three sweet potato-based foods continued, so too the development of conservation protocols for rosemary, vanilla, sorrel, bissy, cactus and naseberry.
The SRC successfully initiated coffee received from the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) and June plum, and prepared project documents for establishing gene banks for coffee and yam. Also, research was completed on the development of local fish feed formulations.

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