University of Eldoret Develops Unga Nutritious Brand

Prof. Violet Mugalavai is the innovator behind Unga Nutritious Brand being hosted at the Food Processing and Incubation Centre in partnership with Purdue University of United States. The instant flour (Unga Nutritious) is an innovation which only requires hot water to prepare a meal of Ugali and porridge. This innovation aimed at curbing post-harvest losses among smallholder farmers subjects the flour into an intense preparation process, where the flour is also fortified with fruits, cereals, and vegetables depending on the user's preferences.

This inventiveness has created a positive impact on by Expanding sorghum and millet markets in urban/rural Kenya through application of food technology, Improved nutritional quality of food products, Enabled a market-pull for food fortification, support Entrepreneurship, Embrace science and technology and local knowledge, Train and incubate potential entrepreneurs, Foster partnerships with key entrepreneurs, Push and Pull for fortified crops in real consumer products and Look for opportunities for changes in products to meet nutrient needs in Unique ways. 

Unga Nutritious product comes in two varieties; Instant Ugali Pap and Instant Porridge Pap which have been licensed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and currently, modalities are being put in place to patent the product.  The initiative allows people who are lovers of ugali and porridge to be able to instantly prepare their meals on the go by using hot water. Kenya loses up to Ksh. 150 billion worth of food after every harvest season as millions of Kenyans grapple with starvation due to drought. This innovation will come in handy in addressing such issues as it utilizes harvested products such as maize, sorghum, amaranth grains, millet, chickpeas, cowpeas, baobab, rice, cassava, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, bananas, and even mangoes. The Food Processing and Incubation Centre established through this project at the University is also a hub for innovative ideas in food processing, and it has also brought on board students from other Universities who are working at the center on attachment basis.

Prof. Violet K. Mugalavai holds a Ph.D in Human Ecology (Food, Nutrition and livelihood Security) from Moi University; M.Ed Home Economics, and B.Ed Home Economics, both from Kenyatta University. She is an Associate professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, School of Agriculture at the University of Eldoret. Previously she served as the Head of Department and the Director of Industrial Linkages, Partnerships and Collaborations. Her areas of research interest include Food Science, Nutrition, and Postharvest handling (value addition using  food to food fortification). Currently she is engaged in 2 research projects  including Sustainable Reductions of Post-Harvest Losses in Feed the Future Countries Through Technologies and Innovations that Links Farmers to Markets, a USAID funded project for the Food Processing Innovation Lab.---Phase 2 and Sustainable Post-Harvest and Agro-Processing Technologies for Improved Livelihoods among Rural Communities in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya. The projects are targeting SDGs number 2 (ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; and number 12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), among others.

These research projects she collaborates with Purdue University, USA( Lead Project Institution), North Carolina State University, USA, University of Pretoria, South Africa, CIMMYT Kenya, ITA Senegal, KALRO Kenya, and Rongo University (Lead NRF Institution).


  • The project has established a Food Processing Training & Incubation Center (FPTIC) at the University of Eldoret, that trains women and the youth in cereal processing using food to food fortification value addition mechanisms with the aim of curbing postharvest losses in communities and thus creating a market-pool of nutritious cereal flours for both thin (uji) and thick (ugali) porridge. The project has thus given the youth an arena to innovate various composite flours in different brands and empowered them to start their own enterprises towards providing consumers with nutritious flour alternatives for all age groups and for better health outcomes.
  • The project innovated “UNGA NUTRITIOUS” which is a natural extruded wholemeal instant flour made out of neglected cereal crops and fortified using food to food approaches to enable reduction of postharvest losses. The flour can make both thin (uji) and thick (ugali) porridge and offers better nutrition alternatives to consumers to reduce malnutrition whereas offering a clean and convenient alternative by reducing time taken and the stress that goes with the longer traditional methods of preparation.
  • The project has come up with innovations in solar drying, grinders and moisture meters to enable reduction of postharvest losses through spoilage of fruits, vegetables and cereals in Feed the Future Countries.



The following publications have been generated as a result of this research project:

  • Mugalavai, V. K., Aduol, K. O., & Onkware, A. O. (2021). Nutritional Characteristics of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Composite Flours Obtained by Food Fortification. European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences3(1), 79-83. 
  • Violet K.Mugalavai, Josiah O. Oyalo & Augustino O. Onkware (2020).  Characterization of the Nutritional Properties of Sorghum Composite Flours Using Different Food to Food Fortification Approaches. EJFOOD, European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences Vol. 2, No.6, November 2020.  DOI: 
  • Sanya Emmaculate, Okoth M. Wandayi, Abong' G. Ooko & Mugalavai V. Kadenyeka(2020). 
  • Nutrient and Anti-Nutrient Composition of Extruded Cereal Flours Fortified with Grain Amaranth, Baobab and Orange-fleshed Sweet Potato Powder.  Journal of Food Research; Vol. 9, No. 6; 2020 ISSN 1927-0887 E-ISSN 1927-0895 Published by Canadian Center of Science and EducationReceived:July21, 2020Accepted:September1, 2020Online Published: October6, 2020
  • URL:
  • Sanya Emmaculate, Okoth Michael Wandayi., Abong George Ooko and Mugalavai Violet Kadenyeka. (2020). "Consumers’ acceptability of extruded maize-sorghum composite flours fortified with grain amaranth, baobab and orange fleshed sweet potatoes." African Journal of Food Science 14, no. 9 (2020): 274-284.
  •  Mugalavai Violet K.,  Mutinda Victoria, Kevin O. Aduol, Josiah Oyalo, & Onkware Augustino O.(2020). Sensory evaluation and consumer acceptability of Snack Value-Added Rice Products in Eldoret Town, KenyaIOSR Journal of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 25, Issue 7, Series 16 (July. 2020) 51-57 e-ISSN: 2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845. www.iosrjournals.org 
  • Mugalavai, Violet K. & Omutimba, Harriet N.O.(2020). Consumer contextual socialization and decision making on consumption of African leafy vegetables among university youth populations. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 10, Issue 6, June 2020 1010 ISSN 2250-3153. 
  • Chepwambok, L.; Adede, W. O.; Mugalavai, V.K.; Onkware, A.O. (2020).  Utilization of post-harvest technologies for improved food security: case of maize and mangoes among smallholder farmers in Kerio valley, Kenya. DOI: 10.46609/IJAER.2020.v06i03.010 URL: 
  • Toroitich, Caroline, Mugalavai Violet, & Ochuodho Julius (2020).  Influence of household socio-demographic characteristics on food security status of small-holder farmers in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. DOI: 10.46609/IJAER.2020.v06i02.012 URL:
  • Mugalavai, V.K. (2020).  Exploring Home-use Test to Assess Urban Consumers’ Acceptance and Likelihood to Purchase Naturally Fortified Instant Whole Meal Sorghum-maize Flour Blends in Eldoret, Kenya. Journal of Food Research; Vol. 9, No. 3; 2020 ISSN 1927-0887 
  • E-ISSN 1927-0895 Canadian Center of Science and Education. 
  • Ouma, R.O, Mugalavai, V.K & Onkware, A. O (2020). Market Survey on Adoption and Utilization of Post-Harvest & Agro Processing Technologies in Uasin-Gishu County, Kenya; International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications (IJSRP) 10(05) (ISSN: 2250-3153), DOI: 
  • Toroitich Caroline, Mugalavai Violet, & Ochuodho Julius (2020); Effect of availability, access and utilization of agricultural extension technologies on the food security situation of smallholder farmers in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications (IJSRP) 10(05) (ISSN: 2250-3153), DOI: 
  • De Groote, Mugalavai V, Mario Ferruzzi, Augustino Onkware, Emmanuel Ayua, Kwaku G. Duodu, Michael Ndegwa, and Bruce R. Hamaker (2020). Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Pay for Instant Cereal Products with Food-to-Food Fortification in Eldoret, Kenya
  • Kipyego, R & Mugalavai, V.K (2019).  The Nexus of Drought Tolerant Crops and Food and Nutrition Security among Smallholder Farmers In Kerio Valley, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya.  International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 9, Issue 9, September 2019.   ISSN 2250-3153.  DOI: 10.29322/IJSRP.9.09.2019.p9354 
  • Mugalavai V.K., Onkware A. O., Omutimba, H.N, & Oyalo, J. (2019).  Exploiting the Nutritional Profile and Consumer Behavior on Choice and Utilization of Selected Sorghum Varieties in Western Kenya. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN: 2319-7064.
  • Mugalavai, V. K., Oyalo J.,  Ayua E., & Onkware, A. O. (2019). Measuring Consumer Interest in Sorghum Composite Flours in Western Kenya. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 9, Issue 7, July 2019 369 ISSN 2250-3153DOI: 0.29322/IJSRP.9.07.2019.p9149
  • Mokeira, W.M. & Mugalavai V. K (2019). An assessment of knowledge, attitude and practices of daily water intake among undergraduate students in University of Eldoret, Kenya. International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research, vol. 5, no. 4, 2019, pp. 490-501. July-August, ISSN 2455-6939
  • Evusa G. V.  & Mugalavai, V. K. (2019). Nutritional Composition of Species in the vernonia hymenolepis Complex in Kenya.  International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 9, Issue 5, May 2019 242 ISSN 2250-3153. DOI:10.29322/IJSRP.9.05.2019 .p8927. 

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