On the 7th until the 11th of August 2014, Khon Kaen University joined the National Research Expo 2014 through presentations of research held at the Bangkok Convention Center Rachaprasong. This expo is a forum for nationwide and international presentations of high quality research for application in useful forms. The exhibited research adds value to agricultural products with innovations and research results. “Innovations: Purple colored corn with high anthocyanin to create food safety and improve the competitive capacity of for Thai society on sustainable basis.” This is research by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamon Lertrat from the Department of Plant Science and Agricultural Resources, Faculty of Agriculture. In addition, red coloring from purple corn essence is research by Asst. Prof. Dr. Chantanee Uriyapongsan from the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Technology. Both research projects are part of the Food Products and Health Food of the Northeast Research Cluster under the National Research University project of Khon Kaen University. In addition, at the expo there was research by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science and the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University which support medical information dissemination which support the consumer health relations with the products.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamon Lertrat said about the innovation: “Purple corn with anthocyanin to create food safety and improve the competitive capacity of for Thai society on sustainable basis was presented in the context of well known and very popular corn in the ASEAN region. The development of this new strand of corn with a bright purple color have an increased amount of anthocyanin in the kernels, cobs, pods and husks. All parts of the plant can be used by processing them into many new household food products. These products include corn syrup, corn milk, crispy fried corn, cookies etc. The research created innovations which add value to corn.
Purple corn with high anthocyanin is a cheap source of anthocyanin, cheaper than other sources and the new products add more value to traditional uses. Especially the kernels have a higher market potential. The product meets the needs of a new generation of consumers who need modern and convenient products with good taste, which are healthy and in large variety.
The dominant features of the academic research are a new strand of corn and production technology which is safe and can be produced on community level. The research has been published on farmer level as well as on industry levels. The private sector has asked for permission to use the product in commerce and there has been training for related parties in all forms, from training to news articles, and through the internet and television. This made the research center and researchers of the project famous. They used their research to serve society.”
Asst. Prof. Chantanee Uriyapongsan said about the done research: “The coloring products extracted from purple corn use a method of extraction using water and natural materials which offer consumers safety. It is found that the product offers clear and beautiful colors in drinks and there are important healthy ingredients which consist of pholyphenols. The coloring products are developed in a powder and can be kept for a long time. In addition, they are easy in use. The coloring product uses waste materials from production of purple corn and adds value in the form of an agricultural innovation”
The dominant feature of the research is a coloring material “Red coloring ingredient” which is a natural red and purple using safe natural materials. It gives a beautiful bright color. In addition, it adds anthocyanin to food products which is believed to belong to the pholyphenols with high industrial production potential. Siam Miragro Ltd has purchased the license from Khon Kaen University and has activities that show the products. For instance, instant drinks in powder form, coffee coco, as well as dietary supplements with ingredients from purple corn extracts. These products can reduce cholesterol, fight diabetes, and obesity. The exposition of Khon Kaen University attracted a lot of interest from attendants of the event. Seeds of the corn variety were handed out to interested parties and products in different forms were sampled, for instance, corn extract juice, corn tea, cookies from corn and corn coffee among others.
Author/Photography: Chitnipha Sriwattanasap