Contents - Previous - Next

This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

News notes

International course in food science and nutrition
Nutrition planning information service
Award to dr. Ramesh bijlani


International course in food science and nutrition

The Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Co-operation (NUFFIC) is organizing an international postgraduate course in food science and nutrition in Wageningen, Netherlands, from January through June 1980, with emphasis on the impact of rural food technology on food availability, food storage, processing, and nutrition. The course will provide further technical background and practical experiences on the choice of technology in food processing, appropriate food technology at different levels and their socio-economic consequences in rural development.

Course content includes food science, food engineering, nutrition, economics, extension, and project evaluation. Case studies on the range of existing technologies and the choice of technology will be included. Participants will undertake practical research work in small groups. Attention will be paid to the process of development and extension of improved technologies starting from a survey of existing traditional technologies and the needs for improvement.

Requirements for Admission

Participants should meet the following requirements:

(1) Have an academic degree (B.Sc. as minimum) in food technology, food science, nutrition, or a related field of study, and 3 - 5 years practical experience.
(2) Hold a professional position with tasks related to the theme of the course, through which dissemination of the acquired knowledge is possible and can be expected.
(3) Come from one of the following types of organizations:

- organization responsible for agro-industrial development;
- institute for food technology;
- university or higher college in technical or agricultural disciplines;
- private enterprise in the agro-based industries;
- national or regional development agency.

(4) Be interested in the problem of choice of technology in food processing at various levels, related to rural development.

Fellowships: The Netherlands Government has fellowship programmes. The diplomatic representative of the Netherlands in each country can give information.

For further information about the course programme, and for application forms, contact the Netherlands Embassy in your country or write to the course secretary. The closing date for application is 15 September 1979.

Address: International Course in Food Science and
Lawickse Alee 11, 6700 AB Wageningen,
Tel.: Netherlands, 08370-19040


Nutrition planning information service

The Nutrition Planning Information Service is a unique, international reference, resource, and information dissemination centre. Through its quarterly journal, Nutrition Planning, the Information Service provides researchers, policymakers, planners, practitioners, project staff and others with detailed abstracts of, and access to, documents of important and timely information pertaining to the nutritional well-being of an individual, a community, or a society.

The abstracted documents, many of them unpublished, deal with nutrition planning and the complex etiology of under- and over-nutrition drawn from the experiences of many nations. Works that report methods, original data and ideas, or results and analyses of planning activities and implementation strategies are given priority.


On 1 October 1976 the non-profit Community Systems Foundation received a three-year grant from the Office of Nutrition, US Agency for International Development. The purpose of the grant was to establish a "Document Abstracting and Distribution System in Nutrition Planning" in order to systematize and facilitate the world-wide interchange and dissemination of information in this rapidly growing field. To accomplish this, the Information Service operates in four functional areas: document collection, journal publication, document dissemination, and special services.

Document collection

The Information Service solicits, identifies, and collects documents, published or unpublished, which report new and significant findings pertaining to food and nutrition policy, planning, and programmes. An international network of 140 participating organizations contributes documents, as do bilateral and multilateral agencies, private and voluntary organizations and other groups, and individual authors; in addition, numerous journals, serials, books, and proceedings are systematically reviewed.

All documents received are catalogued and reviewed for appropriateness, quality, and availability before being selected to be abstracted in Nutrition Planning; guidelines are established by the editor in consultation with the Editorial Advisory Board. In the three issues of 1978, 420 documents were abstracted from among nearly 2,000 received.

Journal publication

Nutrition Planning is published quarterly in February, May, August, and November. Each issue contains 100 - 150 abstracts arranged in ten general subject categories: (1) Planning Process, Methodology and Analysis; (2) Consequences of Malnutrition; (3) Nutritional Status Assessment; (4) Nutrition Education and Home-Centered Activities; (5) Public Health and Curative Measures; (6) Food Processing, Distribution, and Feeding Programs; (7) Agriculture; (8) Economics; (9) Social and Cultural Aspects; and (10) Comprehensive Programs.

Expanded abstracts (300 - 500 words) include: detailed bibliographic information (and, when appropriate, publisher, number of references, and the funding/sponsoring agency); a statement of purpose, methods, and findings; and significant features of the original document such as maps, data, and illustrations.

Other special features in Nutrition Planning are; information accompanying each abstract on how to obtain a full-text copy of the document; book reviews; geographic, source, and subject indices with each issue; and annual cumulative indices in the November issue (the cumulative indices for Volume 1 in the November 1978 issue contained over 4,500 entries).

Nutrition Planning, beginning its second year of publication, has a circulation of nearly 1,000, about 60 per cent of which is in developing nations. It is recognized that circulation would be much greater were it not for foreign exchange restrictions in many countries; the Information Service is seeking subscription donors for these countries.

Document dissemination

The Information Service arranges for readers to obtain or purchase full-text copies of all documents abstracted or reviewed in Nutrition Planning; information on how to do so follows each abstract. When a document is no longer available from the original source or author, the Information Service makes arrangements to provide photocopies as an "at cost" service. In 1978, over 600 requests for documents were processed, and this number has nearly doubled through early 1979. Many regular users are government planning units and university libraries in developing nations.

Special services

Two categories of special services are now offered on a fee basis: searches and compilation of literature in specific subject areas, and rapid dissemination for conference papers.

The Information Service utilizes its extensive collection of documents, network of participating organizations, and experienced research and editorial staff to conduct and come pile topical bibliographies or reference abstracts; arrangements can also be made to provide for the full-text availability of referenced documents.

As an alternative to the costly and time-consuming publication of conference proceedings, the Information Service is prepared to make available abstracts of conference papers and full-text photocopies on demand. Depending on the number and length of papers, a special publication of abstracts can be published and distributed within three to six months of the conference.

Readers of the Food and Nutrition Bulletin are invited to communicate with the Information Service (P.O. Box 8080, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48107, USA) regarding topics of particular interest, document contributions, donors for subscriptions, or information regarding any aspect of Nutrition Planning and the services offered.


Award to dr. Ramesh Bijlani

Dr. Ramesh Bijlani, UNU Fellow in the International Food and Nutrition Policy Programme of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, has been awarded the Dev Raj Bajaj Award for Innovation in Physiological Techniques for the year 1978 by the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India. Using the simple physical principle, pressure = force/area, he has devised simple inexpensive instruments for measuring body weight and hand-grip tension. If the area is constant, pressure is directly proportional to the force. A compressible surface with a relatively constant area is provided by a partially inflated rubber bladder taken from a sphygmomanometer. The bladder is placed between two rectangular wooden slabs. The body weight of an individual or the hand-grip force is utilized to bring the two slabs closer, thereby compressing the bag. The rise in the pressure within the bag, which is proportional to the force applied, is registered on a mercury manometer. Using a calibration curve or table, the body weight or hand-grip force can be read out. Using an arrangement to get a written record of the pressure, the device has also been used to measure the isometric endurance for a given hand-grip tension.

Contents - Previous - Next