PROJECT DETAIL: DEVELOPMENT OF SWEETENERS AND OTHER NON-CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF SUGAR
Following are the details of the project:
Nigeria’s importation of raw sugar rose steadily in recent years. To achieve self-sufficiency in the development of sweeteners and other non-conventional sources of sugar, RMRDC carried out the following activities:
- Development of Protein Sweetener
The Council extracted and produced purified thaumatin from locally grown T. danielii. Sequel to the Council’s successful development of the sweetener, a pharmaceutical company in niger is processing local natural sweetener obtained from Thaumatacoccus danielli plant for the production of non-caloric drinks and other pharmaceutical products. To sustain the supply, the Council is promoting backward integration programme for T.danielli. Which has led to the Council acquiring 100 hectares of land in Delta State in collaboration with a company in the state. This effort would ensure sustainable raw material supply to user companies in the sector.
- Development of Sugar Beet for Industries
As part of its contribution to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production, RMRDC embarked on the development of sugar beet for sugar production in Nigeria. The Council entered a technical collaboration with a company in Europe for the local production and processing of sugar beet in Nigeria. Three varieties of improved sugar beets were received from Sesvanderhave for trial in Nigeria. On-farm trials of the improved seeds have been conducted some states/parts of the country. The results of the trials are promising, and set for business minded individuals who are ready to invest in any area of the value chain from production to processing and marketing. The potential benefit are numerous in job creation and wealth generation.
- Development and Utilization of Stevia for Industrial Use
Extracts from Stevia rebaudiana has been found to be 300 times sweeter than sugar, while possessing some health benefits especially for diabetics and high blood pressure patients. Global stevia market is expected to generate a growth of more than 7% over the years. RMRDC is promoting the cultivation and processing of sweetener from this crop. The equipment for the production of Stevia extracts is been designed for fabrication and consequent installation.