As we know it, food is used to allow us energy and
sustenance. However, in recent years, there has been a shift toward
considering functional foods, or foods that also provide health benefits.
In accordance with the Alberta Research Council (ARC) initiave to develop
a significant functional food/neutraceutical
research body, Neena Gandhi
and her team, have developed three inventions that can be directly applied
to the health sector.
"Let food be thy medicine and
medicine be thy food."
In October 1999, the Alberta Research Council approved
the creation of a new pharmaceutical/neutraceutical unit. The following
year, Gandhi was hired as its first member.
Gandhi, born in Pune, India was educated in biochemical
engineering, earning her PhD in Bombay before moving to Canada.
Just this year the ARC has received a patent for
Gandhis process of converting shrimp and lobster shells into glucosamine
hydrocloride, which can be administered to achieve healthy joints and
bones. The ARC is currently in dicussions with an Alberta business
regarding the commercialization and production of this technology.
Other projects Gandhi has been involved in include the
development of a designer lipid as well as an anti-oxidant product, both of
which can be incorporated into food. The lipid has been targeted
predominantly toward treating eye diseases such as cataracts and has been
granted a patent. The anti-oxidant, also targeted at eye health, has been
developed, and the ARC is currently compiling the final draft of the
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