From Red Sauce to Grain Bar: Project-Based Approach for Healthful Nutrition

Nowadays, when people sale artificial eggs and when products packed with substitutes are hard to differ from natural ones, inventions based on natural components are especially valuable. We talked to Professor Abduvali Toshev, Doctor of Science (Engineering), Head of the Department of Catering Technology and Organisation, Leader of the project entitled “Invention of methods for using seeds of grain and oil crops for food production” about innovative products made of seeds of grain and oil crops and their use in healthful nutrition, about preventive measures against the most frequent “diseases of the age” with the use of SUSU’s inventions, about the “red basic sauce”, grain bars made of oil crops, about unique candies and other innovative products created within project-based approach.

– How did your project originate?

– As project-based learning has been introduced at the university, a decision was made at the Department of Catering Technology and Organisation: the main attention should be focused on development of the project entitled “Invention of methods for using seeds of grain and oil crops for food production”. Within project-based learning, this topic has been developed at a principally new level. The project was claimed as a prospective one. It was important for us because nowadays there is a tendency developing all around the country and in our university which regards practical training of cadres, the graduates who have experience of working in the industry.

Abduvali Toshev

– What makes this project to be unique?

– It is no secret that nowadays there are many cancerous diseases, diseases of cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract, and cases of obesity diagnosed in Chelyabinsk and in Russia as a whole.

Unique nature of the idea which lays in the basis of the project is in the composition of raw material that we are developing for food production. We are planning to propose innovative technologies for production of food with the use of seeds of grain and oil crops (grain bars for healthful nutrition, mashes, confectionery masses, flour confectionery goods, etc.). Within the project, we elaborate recommendations on implementation of the proposed techniques into production process. Using the new technologies for production of healthful food, we are planning to prevent processes causing development of diseases of gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system.

Presently, artificial additives are actively used in the process of food production. Taste qualities specific for one product or another have been lost. Our primary goal is to contribute to extension of the assortment of natural products. Human organism is intended for digestion and processing of natural products. Nowadays in the world there are already artificial chicken eggs, artificial meat and alike. When a product with modified structure gets into human organism, some part of it doesn’t get digested and therefore causes various diseases (thrombosis, cancer, etc.). Natural products are more expensive than artificial ones. Artificial products are more suitable for massive production. Cultivating grain is not so easy because it requires certain treatment. Nevertheless, natural products have always been healthful for humans. Our primary goal within project-based learning is to develop healthful products made of natural raw material at an affordable price.

– Is it all just plans yet? Have you got any certain products?

– We have already invented red basic sauce. This is sauce produced with the use of rape cake enriched with fiber (it contains several-fold more fiber compared to the top-grade wheat flour); it contains a lot of mineral substances: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium. Due to the big amount of vitamins in its composition, the product is applicable for children’s nutrition for development and strengthening of bones.

This innovative product is characterized with high content of mineral substances which have a positive effect on mental development of children. In its composition, rape cake has irreplaceable amino acids which are not synthesized by human body (at that, human organism needs them a lot). With the use of processed rape cake we are planning to include these microelements in healthful ration.

Red basic sauce is used when cooking and serving the second courses. Specificity of our innovative technology proposed in the project is in enrichment of the sauce with healthful mineral substances. In the future, the sauce is going to be brought into industrial production. When developing the product, we took into account specificities of its cooking process; therefore, it won’t need any new equipment or new production lines.

The issues of cost and economic efficiency are not of the least importance. Our additive will allow enriching the diet of elderly people and children with healthful vitamins and minerals.

– What product is planned to be developed within project-based learning in the closest future?

– We are planning to develop and bring into production grain bars for healthful nutrition made of oil and grain crops as an additive component in nutrition of athletes, students, and so on. This is going to be a healthy and balanced diet.

– Could you tell us about the role of Master’s degree students in your project?

– In order to complete the project, we chose five Master’s degree students majoring in 19.04.04 Production Technology and Catering Organisation (innovative technologies in production and organisation of catering companies). Each Master’s degree student has one’s important role in the project: one is involved in development of a finished product model, the second one cooperates with mathematicians (we are planning to involve specialists from the Department of Mathematics in the frameworks of interdisciplinary cooperation so that they helped us with processing the results of our research), the third one analyzes results of the research and prepares material for articles which are going to be published in journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science.

Besides, the Master’s degree students got a common assignment, so now they are getting into the process by studying what is raw material (rape, buckwheat, oats) and how exactly it needs to be processed. Moreover, the Master’s degree students need to learn the specificity of working with equipment. Presently, the Master’s degree students spend most of their time in research laboratories where they carry out research necessary for the project’s development.

Within the project, we are actively cooperating with the University of Tyumen, Slovak University of Agriculture and the Ural Federal University named after B.N. Yeltsin. These universities have the necessary equipment; we are friends with the department at Moscow State University of Food Production. Within implementation of the project, we are planning to be sending there Master’s degree students for adopting experience.

– How do you interact with the ordering customer within the project?

– In the project, our ordering customer once again is Soyuzpishcheprom Association, with whom we have already successfully implemented a number of projects. One of them, an innovative product, is a candy produced using the product obtained after processing of oil crops (seed kernel), which by its taste reminds halva.

Patented candies were presented at a meeting of the ISTS Council: all members of the Council approved our invention! The right for exclusive use of this technology was passed to Soyuzpishcheprom which is already producing these candies.

We are planning to keep actively cooperating with Soyuzpishcheprom where Master’s degree students will be able to get familiar with production process.

– Is it high time to start talking about planned publications regarding the project?

– Presently, we have already elaborated two patents on grain-and-oil crops. One article on the topic of resource-saving technologies in the use of seeds of grain and oil crops for food production has already been published in the Bulletin of SUSU (Series “Man. Sport. Medicine”) and indexed in Web of Science. Two articles on this subject have been published in a journal included in the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles’ list; and three articles have been published in proceedings of the International Conference called “Innovations in Sport, Tourism and Service: icISTIS – 2018”.

At a project analysis session in November of 2018, which regarded strategy of the university’s development, Aleksandr Shestakov mentioned the fact that, in a prospect, every project in project-based learning should include candidates and doctors of sciences who defended dissertations on the topic that is being developed within the project-based learning. We intend to prepare two candidates of sciences to defend their dissertations on the topic of development of food products for healthful nutrition. We are also planning to write 6 to 8 articles to be indexed in Web of Science and Scopus till 2020.

– What are your further plans regarding the project?

– Provided implementation of the end product of project-based learning is successful, we are planning to start introducing the developed techniques into the education process. We are also planning to involve a big number of students into the project-based learning. Provided that study results by the curricula which have been elaborated for the five Master’s degree students taking part in the project are good, we will extend project-based learning within this subject.

Yulia Rudneva; photo from personal collection of the interviewee
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