MUT academic partners with multinational food company to tackle hidden hunger

Dr Xolile Mkhize, middle, with Unilever staff

MUT’s research on the issues of hunger and the need for the food industry to be accountable in the products that are being sold to many households around the country and beyond, has not gone unnoticed by the food industry. One of the multinational food companies, Unilever Foods, invited Dr Xolile Mkhize, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Extension, to be part of the panel of experts in the launch of new Knorrox products. The Knorrox products have been in South Africa since 1968.

Unilever invited Dr Mkhize so she could talk about the new Knorrox products which have now been fortified with Iron and Zinc. Both Iron and Zinc are essential micronutrients for human growth, development, and maintenance of the immune system. This is an important milestone for the Knorrox Brand because many households grapple to find good sources of Iron and Zinc because of affordability.

Dr Mkhize engaged on various issues around the role of indigenous foods and fortification within the food environment, among other issues in the discussion. “There was interaction from the audience. It is amazing how frustrated people are with the foods they eat. Platforms like the launch of new food products are important for the food industry to reach out to their market, and for people to understand the composition of the food they put on the table. These days, consumers have become more conscious about adopting healthy lifestyles. For a global giant like Unilever to respond to health issues as it launches new foods, is a huge milestone for both the food sector and consumers”, said Dr Mkhize