Fibrepro closing meeting in KENYA

The Fibrepro closing meeting was held in Kenya in August 2017. The partners agreed on further collaboration. The outcomes of the project will be published in various Journals and updated here regularly. We would like to thank ERA-Africa and all funding agencies (Fonrid, FCT, MOHEST, Academy of Finland and the Finnish cultural foundation) for funding this project.

Current publications

  1. Tapsoba, Fidele Wend-benedo, et al. “Effect of the fermentation on the microbial population occurring during the processing of zoom-koom, a traditional beverage in Burkina Faso.” African Journal of Microbiology Research 11.26 (2017): 1075-1085.
  2. Vila-Real, Catarina, et al. “Nutritional Value of African Indigenous Whole Grain Cereals Millet and Sorghum.” Energy (kcal) 32819.33620: 36119-36320.
  3. Vila-Real, Catarina, et al. “How dietary intake has been assessed in African countries? A systematic review.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition (2017): 1-21.

Fibrepro-Pilot scale trial in local bakery in KENYA

The Fibrepro research team was in Kenya in August 2917 for Pilot scale trial in collaboration with the Sorghum Value Chain Development Consortium. The SVCDC has bakery facilities at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology and usually produces sorghum bread. Together with their staff, bread containing 50% finger millet. The aim of the visit was to evaluate the performance of sourdough technology utilizing local Finger (work package 4), in production of high fibre millet and wheat composite breads.  The technology was adapted to production of pan bread. 

Fibrepro-Pilot scale trial in local bakery in Burkina Faso

The Fibrepro research team was in Burkina Faso in June 2017 for Pilot scale trial at a local bakery. The aim of the visit was to evaluate the performance of sourdough technology utilizing local pearl millet Jaune (work package 4), in production of high fibre millet and wheat composite breads.  The technology was adapted to production of baguette type bread. The work was successful and additional optimization will be carried out lead by the Food Technologists at DTA Burkina Faso.

During the visit, the team also discussed the Nutrition study which is currently being planed in Burkina Faso. The study has obtained additional funding from the University of Helsinki.

Fibrepro Third annual meeting held in Porto (Portugal)

The Fibrepro research team met in Porto in February 2017 for the third annual meeting. The meeting was hosted by the Portuguese Catholic University, The College of Biotechnology. The meeting was a success and plans to ensure successful implementation of project were discussed

  • At present, PhD Student Diarra Compaore-Sereme from Burkina Faso is in Helsinki for a 3 month student exchanges. Currently her work has focused on WP4 development of whole grains bread based on Pearl Millet Jaune.
  • The FIBREPRO Team agreed on strains and the grains to focus on, as we have now entered the last phase of the project

WP3 and 4 Study Visit to Helsinki

Tasks related to WP3 and 4 have continued since 2016. In Novemeber 2016, Phd Student Diarra Compaore-Sereme from Burkina Faso, came for a 3 months exchange visit to Helsinki. During the visit,  Diarra was introduced to sourdough baking and characterisation of exopolysaccharide production during sourdough fermentation. During the visit, baking trials with Pearl Millet (Jaune) which were initiated.

WP2 Dietary Survey completed in Kenya

A life experience while collecting Nutritional data in kenya (by Catarina Vila Real)

The FIBREPRO project gave me an opportunity to be in Kenya for three months to supervise the collection of dietary intake data for work package 1. I remember the first moment that I arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. I could not have imagined the life experience that was waiting for me. Different country, different people, different habits, different food, different weather…everything was different.

Let’s first talk about the professional side of the experience…

The main objective of this trip was to advance the FIBREPRO project, WP1. The main objective of WP1 is to determine the current status of dietary fibre intake in the partner countries. Our Kenyan partners had already started the work by doing some interviews in the field. When I arrived, we analysed the collected data and we redefined the first version of the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) we were developing. The FFQ was finalized and then the fieldwork was started. The work was divided in two stages: the validation study and the main survey. The validation study was done in order to guarantee the validity of the FFQ, which was to be used in the second phase of the project. During the validation study, five enumerators and I interviewed 75 people, randomly selected from the University of Nairobi (in two different campus) and in a complex apartment in Uthiru area. Once the validation study was finished we embarked on the main survey. Our goal was to interview 500 Kenyans in different locations in Nairobi. A group of eleven enumerators and I interviewed 526 people, in shopping malls, local markets and some residential districts (either urban informal and formal settlements). It was a challenging but rewarding task. We worked as a team and in a couple of weeks we accomplished our mission. In the end the feeling was very good. It was challenging to work with different professionals, who have their own way of work and their own rhythm of work. But in the end I have learned a lot from them and I hope I gave them some good inputs on what concerns labour issues. I believe it was a win-win experience. After all this is the main objective of collaborative work and collaborative projects.


I would like to thank all the enumerators (Fredrick, Edith, Caroline, Dortea, Ali, Samuel, Shadrack, Petronilla, Elizabeth, Martha, Christine, Sharon and Jack-Susan), who participated in the validation and dietary survey.

Now, talking about the fun and cultural side…

My experience in Kenya enriched me in various ways. The country is a very pleasant place where we can find beautiful landscapes, magnificent weather, special food and nice people. It was a great experience, that I am proud to have been part of. I encourage and I advise to anyone that has the opportunity to go to other country, other reality and try to adapt and learn with that culture. The world is big and we need to be closer to it and to know better what we have to explore. It was a life experience.

giraffe centerFeeding a giraffe at the Giraffe Center Nairobi Kenya

FIBREPRO 2nd Meeting in Nairobi Kenya

The Fibrepro research team met in Kenya for the second annual meeting. The meeting was hosted by the University of Nairobi at the  Qaribu Inn Hotel. The meeting was a success and clear strategies were defined to ensure successful implementation of project plans.

  • At present, PhD Student Catarina Vila Real is in Kenya supervising the dietary survey. The first part of the survey will involve validation of the FFQ that has been developed by the Portugese team in collaboration with the Kenyan team.
  • Work on WP2-4 are in progress and currently suitable strains for project activities are being screened
  • The FIBREPRO Team had a chance to meet with Mr Julius Kioko, the managing director of the Sorghum Value-Chain Development Consortium (SVCDC). My Kioko gave a presentation on the activities of SVCDC and we agreed on future collaboration between FIBREPRO and  SVCDC.

Picture1Picture: Above, from the left, Susan, Catarina, Dr. Ndegwa, Dr. Catherine, Ana, Prof. Ana, Hannah and Prof. Mbugua.

FIBREPRO PROJECT PARTICIPATED IN THE African – Finnish Bioeconomy and Agriculture Business Opportunities – seminar

The FIBREPRO project collaborated with Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) in the   African – Finnish Bioeconomy and Agriculture Business Opportunities – seminar held at the university of Helsinki main campus on Tue 8th September 2015. The project coordinator presented the project to the delegates (link to the seminar Here)

The seminar brought together FInnish delegates and African delegates from 8 African Countries (Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia, Mali, Malawi and  South Africa).  The aim of the seminar was to foster research and business collaboration, marketing partnerships, identification of potential investors for the food value chains, vendors of  technologies in agri-processing and general agriculture machinery. During the seminar the project coodinator was formally introduced to the The Sorghum Value-Chain Development Consortium (SVCDC) which is one of the six pilot Agribusiness Innovation Incubation Consortium (AIIC) in Africa funded by the Universities, Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation (UniBRAIN) initiative. Future collaboration between SVCDC and FIBREPRO project was discussed.



The Fibrepro research team was on a field trip to collect samples in Kenya. Four area were in Embu and Meru country. It was interesting to not the diversity of the traditional porridge and preparation method in the area visited. Other than using millet and sorghum, maize flour has become a common ingredient. This is understandable since maize is more abundant in kenya.

Web picture

Picture by Dr.Ndegwa H. Maina. Pounding of finger millet to remove hulls, Soaked Finger Millet and Pearl Millet after the first step of manual stone grinding., Paste formed after several cycles of manual stone grinding, Fibrepro research team at the University of Nairobi


The FIBREPRO Kickoff meeting was held in Helsinki Finland December 15-17 2014. This was the first meeting bring together all project partners for the first time. During the meeting all partners presents an overview of the work currently being carried out at the departments and the activities that will be carried out in the first year of the project. Project participants also had a chance to visit the Food science department of the University of Helsinki.




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