Nutrition 2021

Dr. Palpu Pushpangadan

Speaker at International Nutrition Research Conference 2021 - Dr. Palpu Pushpangadan
Amity Institute for Herbal & Biotech Products Development, India
Title : Nutraceutical potential of some underutilized subsidiary food crops and Legumes


The diverse ecosystems play a vital role in the life, economy and health care of the inhabitants of a country.  The Indian conditions provide immense scope and potential for chemical studies on underutilized subsidiary food plants like Amaranthus, Chenopodium, Celosia, Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) and Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (winged bean) etc. of nutraceutical importance as only very little information are available on them. Some exotic and indigenous species of these are cultivated and studied for their anti-oxidant (carotenoids, provitamin A, Vitamin C), nutritional (oils, fatty acids, proteins, amino acids, fractionation of protein and antinutritional (oxalate, nitrate etc) composition. Fractionation of the Chenopodium seed proteins showed that its major part (70-80%) is water and saline soluble with well- balanced essential amino acid (lysine 6.6-7.0%) composition. The Amaranthus, Chenopodium, and Fagopyrum protein were in close proximity to the FAO/WHO recommendations and the oil of former possess cholesterol –lowering property. The leaves of Chenopodium and Amaranthus are excellent sources of antioxidants. To meet the nutraceutical requirements of an ever increasing population, there has been a constant search for new legumes of high protein content. There is worldwide interest in finding low cost protein sources hitherto unexploited. Edible legumes play a major role in meeting the widespread protein malnutrition. The present agricultural situations exclude the possibility of making more arable land available for the cultivation of such legume crops. On the other hand, huge quantities of leguminous seeds go to waste without being properly utilized due to the lack of adequate scientific knowledge regarding their nutritional composition. A chemical screening programme of underutilized legume seeds was initiated at National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow to explore the possible new potential sources of protein. Details of the findings will be presented in this paper.


Professor Palpu Pushpangadan is presently the Hon. Director General of Amity Institute for Herbal and Biotech Products Development (AIHBPD), Thiruvananthapuram and Senior Vice President of the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (RBEF), New Delhi. Prior to the present assignment Prof. Pushpangadan served as Director, National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI), Lucknow from Feb. 1999 to Feb. 2006; Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (KSCSTE-JNTBGRI), Thiruvananthapuram from Nov. 1990 to Feb. 1999 and held additional charges of Director of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (DBT-RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram and Central Institute for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknow. Prof. Pushpangadan is a multidisciplinary scientist having over 48 years experience. He has carried out original research in Cytogenetics & Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Molecular Taxonomy, Biosynthesis of Secondary Metabolites, Ethnobiology, Ethnopharmacology, Bioprospecting and Natural Product Development etc. He has published over 500 original research papers (267 in Peer Reviewed Journals, 125 Chapters in books & 237 in proceedings of scientific seminars/symposia) and authored/ edited 34 books & 58 Reports.
He has 230 patents (of 95 patents- 61 US patents & 65 European, French, German, Canadian and Japan patents awarded and rest in India) granted and 14 patents filed in India. Twenty five of his patented products are now commercially produced and globally marketed.