On 28 September, three staff members (1 female and 2 male) of the International Potato Centre Food and Nutrition Evaluation Laboratory (CIP-FANEL) and Biosciences for east and central Africa (BecA) Research Hub Nairobi, Kenya were trained on ICP-OES (Inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry). This equipment was donated to Food and Nutrition Evaluation Laboratory (CIP-FANEL) in BeCA-ILRI by International Potato Centre, Lima, Peru.
The training was led by George Chabari and Samuel Gitua (engineers from Ultra Systems Engineering Ltd; 2nd and third from left in the photo). Both BeCA and CIP-FANEL staff within the nutritional platform were trained on the operation and maintenance techniques of the machine.
ICP-OES is a technique in which the composition of elements in (mostly water-dissolved) samples can be determined using plasma and a spectrometer. It is a type of emission spectroscopy that uses the inductively coupled plasma to produce excited atoms and ions that emit electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths characteristic of a particular element. The equipment has the capability of analyzing up to 70 elements and will be essential for breeding high-iron and high-zinc orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes.
“The machine will be important in supporting CIP projects on breeding, nutrition, value addition as well as enhancing collaborative research between CIP and other partners”, said Derick Malavi Research Associate-CIP.
The Food and Nutritional Evaluation Laboratory (FANEL) is housed and hosted within the Nutrition and Food Safety Platform, BecA, ILRI. BecA is an essential partner for FANEL. CIP FANEL collaborates with local universities such as University of Nairobi, Food Science and Nutrition departments, Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), regional universities in east, central, southern and west Africa and international universities such as Greenwich University’s Natural Resources Institute in the UK, and, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University (SDSU), and Tufts University in the USA. FANEL is also working collaboratively with other CGIAR centers and research programs in addition private sector and NGO partners on collaborative projects in SSA.