Published on 15 Jun 2022

Good Recipe for Good Health – WHAT and WHEN to Eat

IAS@NTU Discovery Science Seminar by Professor Shigenobu Shibata (Waseda) and Dr Ken Lee (SPMS NTU)

The webinar by Prof Shigenobu Shibata (Waseda) and Dr Ken Lee (SPMS NTU) was jointly organised by IAS and the Graduate Students' Clubs of SPMS, MSE and SBS.

Chrono-nutrition is a recently developed study field to understand the interaction of circadian system and intake timing of nutrition and functional food. Protein rich food has been strongly linked to the positive effects of chrono-nutrition. Fermentation of Okara, a major by-product of soymilk and tofu production, is a viable option as a protein rich food with access to other untapped nutrients.

Dr Ken Lee began the talk by explaining the side streams in soybean and grains and explained that both Okara and Brewer’s spent grain (BSG) have short shelf life. Then he further explained that the solid-state fermented Okara showed improved nutritional contents and in vivo experiments revealed lowering in post-prandial blood glucose and anti-obesity effects, and the fermented Okara can be translated into high value food ingredients. He also showed that the nutrient content of BSG was increased by solid-state fermentation, and the synergistic effect of mixed cultures was observed during the solid-state fermentation of BSG.

[From top left, clockwise] Shakti (MSE GSC), Prof Shibata, Dr Ken Lee, Hongxia (SBS GSC) and Arpit (SPMS GSC)

After talking about what to eat, Prof Shigenobu Shibata discussed the topic of when to eat. He introduced the development of chronobiology and showed that fermented Okara could increase the protein and sugar by the mice experiment. He further pointed out that proteins may exert entrainment effects via their activities of both peptides and amino acids, while the fermented Okara increased content of amino acids. He also explained the inhibitory effect of fermented Okala on high fat obesity mice by the mice experiment. The possible mechanism of anti-obesity is that fermented Okara can reduce lipid synthesis and increase lipolysis and β-oxidation. Moreover, his talk highlighted the importance of muscle clock in protein rich breakfast induced hypertrophy and rich protein breakfast induced hypertrophy is involved in circadian clock and autophagy.

The webinar ended with an interactive Q&A session where Prof Shigenobu and Dr Ken Lee addressed different questions related to circadian cycle, eating schedule and nutritious food for good health.

Li Hongxia (SBS Graduate Students’ Club)