COVID-19: FUTA scientists recommend Cocoa-Zobo-Ginger beverage as immunity booster against diseases



By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Following the Coronavirus pandemic, a group of researchers at the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA led by a Professor of Food Science Technology, Nathaniel Fagbemi has recommended regular consumption of a blend of Cocoa-Zobo-Ginger beverage, which has the potential to boost immunity of people against communicable diseases and viruses.

The Cocoa-Zobo-Ginger beverage, which has high antioxidant potential was developed by the FUTA researchers from blends of Hibiscus sabdariffa (zobo) and ginger blends and Natural Cocoa Powder.

Ginger

The cocoa–zobo–ginger beverage possesses high antioxidant activities and show potential as a health security beverage that could boost immunity against diseases and viruses.

The researchers say “though oxidation reactions are necessary for life, especially during respiration, complex electron transfer and incomplete reduction of oxygen can result into generation of highly reactive and damaging Reactive Oxygen Species, leading to oxidative stress.

“Oxidative stress has been associated with the cause of significant damage to biological molecules such as lipids, proteins, DNA and development of chronic diseases such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorder and weakening of immune system,” Fagbemi said.

Hibiscus sabdariffa (Zobo)

According to the researchers, study “has shown that though the human body has physiological defense mechanism, which produces antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage, additional antioxidants may be necessary during severe oxidative stress and for constant maintenance of oxidative balance.

“Functional beverages that are high in antioxidants like the Zobo-Ginger-Cocoa drink can adequately protect against oxidative stress and boost immunity in case of stress or diseases.”

They said “a better immunity help to fend off diseases and also improves chances of survival of ill persons.

“The Cocoa-Zobo-Ginger beverage could be made in cold or hot water extracts making it vital in the hot tropical climate as well as in the cold Harmattan seasons obtained in Nigeria,” adding that “its ingredients are easily available and can be made and enjoyed by all strata of the society.”

Cocoa

According to FUTA, the University has the Cocoa-Zobo-Ginger beverage blends in sachets, which has been developed and exhibited in many NUC organized university trade fairs and scientific exhibitions.

“We will be ready to enter into partnership with Government agencies and other interested stakeholders  for mass production,” a statement by the Deputy Director, Communication and Protocol, Adebanjo Adegbenro said.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, said FUTA will continue to respond to emerging national and global trends and challenges through relevant researches and product development.