KKU researchers develop local wisdom further into “Tasty Veggie Powder” – a new choice for consumers avoiding MSG, diabetes, high blood pressure, renal failure, and reproductive system diseases
On December 17, 2019 at Sirikunakorn Building, Khon Kaen University hosted press release led by Dr. Pimnibha Hirunsorn, a lecturer of Food Technology Program, the Faculty of Technology; Mr. Banchob Chatong, President of Organic Herb Community Enterprise of Sila Sub-district; and Mr. Sanya Samart, Assistant to President of Organic Herb Community Enterprise of Sila Sub-district.
At present, Thai people prefer to season their savory dishes with seasonings. Even though the use of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is permitted by law, the maximum portion consumed each day has not been announced. According to the announcement of Ministry of Public Health regarding food additive, the amount of MSG shall be used properly and shown on food labels. MSG is safe to use and has some benefits; however, the researchers has concerned the excess use of it. In fact, a lot of research revealed that too much amount of MSG that people had consumed could cause problems to optic system, brain, growth rate, reproductive system, and the risk of insulin resistance that was the beginning stage of diabetes. Moreover, the amount of salt in seasonings can be the cause of higher blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic kidney diseases. Based on the previous research results, the proper amount of MSG in each day is 5 grams or about 1 teaspoon.
Mr. Banchob Chatong and Mr. Sanya Samart said “Tasty Veggie Powder” started from the study trip to Inplang Community Enterprise in Sakon Nakhon. It was found that Thaikralerng Tribe there had never used MSG or seasonings when cooking. They used Kao Buea consisting of soaked rice that was ground with herbs like garlic cloves, green onions, mulberry leaves, Colubrina Asiatica, Moringa leaves, Acacia Concinna, Garcinia Cowa, Melientha Suavis Pierre, Bitter Leaf, and pandan. All of these can produce savory aroma and replace seasonings. As a result, KKU researchers developed this into Tasty Veggie Powder.
Dr. Pimnibha Hirunsorn said her research was about the development of seasoning product made from vegetables, and the recipe was being improved so that the veggie powder could replaced MSG. The research was under the scheme of Food Safety supported by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). Tasty Veggie Powder’s origin was local wisdom in Isan having variety of unique herbs. For example, Garcinia Cowa leaves had sour taste and antioxidants fighting against cancer, especially lung cancer and leukemia. They also helped improve blood quality and protect consumers from bacteria causing digestive diseases. Becoming another choice for health concerning consumers, it was an organic product made from vegetables and herbs such as star gooseberry, pumpkin, Garcinia Cowa, garlic, and coriander. When all ingredients mixed, it released savory aroma and was able to replace seasoning powder. Now the researchers were ready to develop the product for food industry under the Isan Food Safety supported by NRCT.
“This product started from the wisdom of Organic Herb Community Enterprise of Sila Sub-district. It has been developed further by KKU lecturers and students. Dr. Aree Naipinit, a lecturer of Management Science Program, the Faculty of Business Administration and Accountancy, is an advisor; Asst. Prof. Dr. Duangchan Nachaisin, a lecturer of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, is in charge of package design; and Dr. Pimnibha Hirunsorn, a lecturer of Food Technology Program, the Faculty of Technology, is in charge of research and development. Some kinds of vegetables which have not been registered in the list of food safety were removed from the recipe. However, the taste still remains the same. The rights over this product belong to Organic Herb Community Enterprise of Sila Sub-district. In the future, some herbs that give the same taste or smell will be removed from the recipe in order to control the production cost. In addition, the study to find balance portion of ingredients for the bigger food industry will continue so that this product can replace MSG contained in fermented fish sauce.”
News/ photos: Chutinan Panjarung
[ Thai ]