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SA: Zim Food Science PhD Graduate Starts Own Sustainable And Healthy Tea Line

By Weekend Argus Dr Trust Pfukwa, a Stellenbosch University food science PhD graduate, has taken his passion for creating innovative food and beverage products to the next level by producing tea from indigenous South African fruits. Pfukwa, originally from Mutare, Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa in 2016 to study food science at Stellenbosch University. He discovered his love for indigenous fruits while conducting his doctoral research. “My project focused on the value addition of these indigenous fruits and evaluating their potential as sources of antioxidants for use as natural preservatives in processed meat. We were able to prove our hypothesis that the fruit extracts are high in bioactive compounds which were able to promote the shelf stability of beef patties as efficiently as commercial synthetic antioxidants.” After his findings, Pfukwa decided to start his own company, Utamu Food, and a line of teas incorporating fruits including the water pear, sour fig, wild plum, and kei apple. The company started in 2021 and the name “Utamu” is Swahili for sweetness.

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