Prof. Paul Bosu, Director General of CSIR in a group picture with some participants at the launch
Prof. Paul Bosu, Director General of CSIR (in ash suit) with some participants at the launch

CSIR launches new ‘Burkina’ variant

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Food Research Institute (CSIR), has launched a new variant of millet and pasteurised milk drink popularly known as “Burkina”.

Unlike the regular burkina drink, however, the new variant, known as “Agbenu”, which comprises millet and soy milk, is more nutritious and also improves gut health.

The Agbenu is drawn from the Ewe word “Agbenududu” - life-giving food.

It was launched in Accra yesterday at a dissemination meeting on "Fermented foods - Soy milk Burkina in Ghana project."

Importance of soy

The Scientific Director of the African Science Technology and Policy Institute, South Africa, Dr Richard Glover, said soy milk was a common staple in the country and that its production in large quantities would make the drink available to many people.

"We are advocating soy milk because cow milk has become expensive and also has some health concerns, but soy milk is healthier and cheaper to produce," Dr Glover added.

He said plans were underway to train more people in the production of the drink to make it more accessible in the country.

The project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation is research, led by siblings, Mary Glover-Amengor of (CSIR) and Dr Richard Glover, who investigated how drinking soymilk-burkina, improves the nutritional status and gut health of women of reproductive age living in the Volta and the Oti regions of Ghana.

Among the participants were 30 pregnant women, who were put on a random trial to test the effect of daily consumption of 330ml soymilk-burkina over a period of six months.

Monthly blood and faecal samples were also collected during the trial to analyse nutritional status, inflammation biomarkers and parasites, among others.


The Director-General of CSIR, Prof. Paul Bosu said some people consumed the beverage as a whole meal because of its satisfying content.

According to him, soy milk substitution would enhance the nutrition and health benefits of the beverage.

"Besides its lower environmental impact compared to livestock rearing for milk, the use of soymilk in burkina production will ultimately boost the soybean market to enhance the livelihoods of local farmers in the country," he said.

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