Dr Talknice Jombo

Dr Talknice Jombo


Midlands State University

Food Science and Nutrition

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Work and Research

My research areas mainly focus on cereals, legumes and climatic smart crops. Firstly, climatic smart crops are becoming of increasing importance in Africa especially Southern Africa. The region is projected to become increasingly water insecure. In Zimbabwe, monoculture systems, especially maize production was favoured during the precolonial era. However, with the emergence of climate change, maize yield is poor in low rainfall areas which risks food security. The government has introduced programs such as pfumvudza/Zero tillage which only provides climatic smart crops such as millets only in low rainfall areas in efforts to improve food security. My research is important in that it offers alternative products which the community can use in efforts to improve consumption of the millets within the communities. Secondly, I also focus on the Hard to cook phenomenon in legumes. Hard to cook defect (HTC) is a phenomenon which occurs in legumes when stored under High Temperature and High Humidity. Development of the HTC defect leads to an increase in cooking time of legumes which results in increase in energy/fuel requirements for households as well as legume processing industries. Previous studies which I have done have shown that milling the legumes significantly reduces the problems associated with the defect. In addition, HTC defect modifies some functional properties of the legume flours which can be important in product development. My current work focuses on utilisation of HTC legumes flours as ingredients in the Food Processing Industry such as binders, hydrocolloids etc, as well as the incorporations into foods consumed in households such as biscuits, porridges etc. This has potential to limit the traditional cooking of whole legumes seeds which is associated high energy demands. Hence my research has potential to reduce the need for higher energy/fuel requirements as well as need for more firewood during cooking.

Fields Of Expertise

Food Scientist