Partially funded by DFID & British Council under Higher Education Link Programme
Pakistani Food Composition Tables
External Research Person&
their Reseaches


Prof.Dr.M.Akmal Khan*
HEC Eminent Educationist and Researcher
Visiting Faculty (Food & Nutrition),
Department of Home and Health Sciences,
Allama Iqbal Open University,Islamabad, Pakistan.
Phone No. 0092-51-2299098, Cell:0092-321-5282230

*For Correspondence: 3-E, Karakoram Blessings, F-11/1, Islamabad, Pakistan


PhD in Nutrition from Queen Elizabeth College/ King's College, University of London sponsored by CENTO (Turkey and British Council UK), under Emeritus Professor A.E.Bender, (an authority on protein nutrition and a former Post Graduate student of a World renowned British Scientist and Nobel Aureate Sir Hans Adolf Krebs who discovered Krebs Cycle/Citric Acid Cycle.
As Post-doctoral DANIDA research Fellow (Denmark) worked in the Food and Nutrition Research labs of Dr. B.O.Eggum, an eminent Scandinavian Scientist and Leader, Protein Evaluation Group at National Research Institute (Statens Husdyrbrugsforsog) Copenhagen, Denmark. Post-graduation (M.Sc) with honours in Nutrition (UAF). Graduation (BVSc. BSc AH) with distinction in Parasitology (PU). INTSOY course on soyabean processing for food uses sponsored by US International Agriculture held at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.


•  Over 40 years of national/ international experience of postgraduate teaching, research and research management, as Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Community Health, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as Chairman, Department of Nutrition (University of Agriculture Faisalabad), as Eminent Educationist and Researcher (HEC) / Visiting Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and in the Department of Home and Health Sciences, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, as Demonstrator in Nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, Director (Central Research Laboratories), as Chief Scientific Officer/Leader (Food Quality Evaluation Group), Deputy Director General and acting Director General( Promoting Research and Development) at NARC, Islamabad, as Member (AS) in PARC, Coordinating Research at National/International level and as Director (M & E ), Tawana Pakistan Project (School Feeding Program), Ministry of Women Development, Social Welfare and Special Education Islamabad.

•  Nutrition Consultant to United Nation-UNICEF (Pakistan) & FAO (Sudan, Bangkok), King Khalid University Hospital, (Riyadh) , Gulf Catering Company, School Feeding Program, (Jeddah) and to Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Muscat), and Visiting Scientist to International Research Centers/Universities in England, Sudan, USA, Canada, Austria, India, Mexico, Syria, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and FAO Headquarters,Rome, Italy.


Some notable achievements include generating new knowledge, developing new methods, new products, establishing institutions (research labs, nutrition department and planning unit).

1:  Studied mechanism of biological adaptation (changes in protein and energy metabolism) of the body to restricted food intake, this explains how adult human beings appear to maintain health on dietary intakes well below the requirements in developing countries.Sucrose induction of hepatic hyperplasia in the rat. A scientific discovery (Nature,238,461, 1972). Sucrose at a level of 25% of the carbohydrate in the diet produced better growth and protein utilization in the body. A level of 11% of the total dietary calories from fat was adequate to meet the requirement of essential fatty acids. Relatiive constancy of urinary creatinine and urochrome in human subjects, available lysine and blood catalase (developed new method) as indices of dietary protein quality. Developed weaning/supplementary foods for children, milk from chickpeas (developed new product) for treating persistent diarrhea in children and desirable dietary patterns for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Developed guidelines for planning nutritionally adequate meals for primary school girls. Dietary carbohydrates affecting biological utilization of protein. Predicting dietary protein quality by in-vitro method. Improved the protein quality of cereal based diets by supplementing with different pulses, soy flour, potatoes, fish and leaf protein concentrate similar to meat or milk containing diets. Production environment, storage processing and presence of anti-nutritional factors affecting nutritional quality of cereals, pulses and oil seeds. Improved storage life of wheat flour by using polythene packaging material. Developed more bread from less wheat flour. Healthy diet ensures a healthy heart (Preventing coronary heart disease by diet & life style). Dietary counseling lowered levels of fasting blood glucose and glycoslated hemoglobin in diabetic type-11 patients. The metabolic effect of honey, dates, glucose, sucrose and starch on plasma lipids, insulin and glucose in rats.

2. As Leader food quality evaluation group established National Food and Nutrition Research Labs and Small Animal House at National Agriculture Research Center Islamabad. Assisted plant breeders of the National Agricultural Research System in breeding new varieties of cereals, pulses and oilseeds as affected by production environment, storage, processing and presence of anti-nutritional factors and evaluated for their technological values, nutritional quality and consumers acceptance. Developed colaborative research to solve priority food and nutritional problems. Strengthened linkages with the food quality labs of the National and International Research Centers at CIMMYT (Mexico), IRRI (Philippines), ICRISAT (India) and ICARDA (Syria). Generated income by providing labs services to food industry. Provided research facilities and supervised a number of Post Graduate students from various universities for their degree programs. Organized short courses/ training/ workshops and created nutritional awareness through print and electronic media. SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY SERVICES ON FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL PROBLEMS.

3. Evaluated nutritional adequacy of National and Northern Areas diets, breakfast cereals, diets/meals, home­made and commercial baby foods used in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Denmark.The average Pakistani national diet reported in the Nutrition Survey of Pakistan was cooked and evaluated chemically and biologically in growing rats (Click to nutritive value of Pakistani diets). The national diet supplied 13% of the total calories from Protein, 61% from Carbohydrates and 11% from Fat. The calories, protien, essential fatty acids, iron and calcium contents were adequate to meet the dietary requirements and the values were higher than those calculated from Food Composition Tables reported in the survey report.Lysine and threonine were found to be the limiting amino acids. The true protein digestibility (TD)and net protein utilization (NPU) value of national diet were 92% and 66% respectively.Protein was not a limiting factor in Pakistani diet. In general, the average national diet was aqeduate to meet the dietray requirements of all different groups except lactating mothers but may be inadequate for a large number of people consuming below the average intake and were in need of more food.The food problem in Pakistan was not primarily one of the deficiency of protien but related to insufficient supply of food.The industrial processing reduced significantly the level of lysine (35-76%) and arginine (10-41%), true digestibility (4-20%), biological value (13-34%) and net protein utilization (17-41%) in the breakfast cereals used in Pakistan. Keeping in view the poor protein quality of breakfast cereals, the children should never be fed breakfast cereals without milk. The quality of food protein was related to the proportion of amino acids as well as the digestibility of protein. Higher content of dietry fiber and tannin in the diet had a negative effect on the protein digestibility. The protein quality of Pakistani home-made baby food, Kheer (rice pudding)- a blend of rice, milk and sugar had TD (96%) and NPU(81%) and could meet the protein requirement of babies from 6months- 3 years. The protein quality of Kheer was better than those of tested home-made and commercial baby foods used in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.The protein quality of commercial infant formulas/baby foods was lower than human milk. The more that an infant formula differs from avarage human milk in its composition the greater will be the likelihood of occuring harmful effects. The use of commercial infant foods in the diet during a critical developmental period calls for guaranteed high nutritional and safety quality of commercial infant foods. Breast feeding, however, should be recognized as the best way of achieving normal growth and development and reducing infant mortality during the early months of life. Pakistan has the lowest rates of literacy and early initiation of breast feeding and highest rates of bottle feeding and infant and maternal mortality in South Asia.

4. Conducted food and nutrition surveys in schools (Essex) and hospital (Epping) in England, and in Northern Areas of Pakistan, evaluated the impact of agricultural development in the world largest mechanized Agri-farm on the diet and nutrition in Gezira (Sudan) and impact of school feeding on enrollment and height and weight of primary school girls in Gwadar (Pakistan). Diet and nutrition situation in Pakistan. Future agriculture plans for nutritional adequacy in Pakistan. Civic pollution effecting the quality of water and fish in Soan River.Detected pesticide residue (injurious to health) in Tobacco agro-environment in Swabi.A survey on food and nutrition infrastructure in Pakistan funded by UN-FAO Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand.

5.  As Research Manager, established Central Research Laboratories at NARC, Human Nutrition Department (UAF), Nutrition Planning Unit (Sudan), Food Quality Research Labs (Sultenate of Oman), development of Agriculture Research Plan (1988-2000), Child Survival Project, Ministry of Health Islamabad, research linkages with the international research centers, developed research monitoring and evaluation system and recommended dietary allowances for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

6.  Dr. Akmal Khan's Food and Nutrition Research Labs at NARC, Islamabad (1983-91) were one of the best ten Food Labs of the World, selected for International advisory services vide Food Laboratory News (Journal) 7:2, April 1991 (D7743 Furtwangen, Germany).

7.  Awarded Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) Fellowship by Turkey and sponsored by British Council UK for higher studies (PhD) in England, and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) Research Fellowship for Post-doc research studies in Denmark. Awarded medal on World Food Day by FAO (United Nations) and University Grants Commission (Pakistan), distinction in Parasitology from University of Punjab, Lahore and selected as Eminent Educationist and Researcher by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Regarded as an authority on nutritional problems in Pakistan as honoured by Dr. Amir Muhammad former Chairman, Pakistan Agricultral Research Council, Islamabad, Secretary (ARD), Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Advisor to the President of Pakistan (Federal Minister for Food and Agricultre, Govt. of Pakistan)

8.  Elected Fellow Royal Society of Health, (London), Member Institute of Biology (London), Member Institute of Food Technologist, (USA), Member Editorial Board, Nutrition Reports International, USA, Advisor to International Food Laboratory News, Uppsala, Sweden. Member of Reviewers Panel, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (WHO). Member Expert Board on Nutrition, Pakistan Medical Research Council, Member of Working Group on nutrition planning and development, Co-convener of working group on poverty reduction , social projection, on Nutrition and income distribution for the Five Year Plan (2005-10). Ministry of Planning and Member Nutritional Sectional Committee, Pakistan Standards Institution. Member of Academic Council and Selection Board, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

9.  Particiapted and Presented Pakistan/country paper on various international scientific forums in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, England and USA. Organized training, workshops and seminars and created nutritional awareness through print and electronic media.

10.  Highly regarded as a Teacher and a Research Guide, supervised a large number of post-graduates for their M.Sc. M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees.

11.  Published 143 research papers/publications in local & foreign journals of International repute, technical reports for the International Agencies of the United Nations, Research Manual, “Enzymes in Biochemical Research” and a review on the achievements of Nutritional Goals (1990-2000), set at 1990 World Summit on child's rights. The goals remain unmet & rights unrealized in Pakistan. Malnutrition due to deficiencies of Iron, Vitamin A & Iodine costs Pakistan Rs. 200 billion (5% of GDP) every year in lost lives, disability & productivity. Iodine deficiency alone costs the country Rs.1.6 billion (3.3% of GDP) every year in lost adult productivity. An overview of Tawana Pakistan Project (Aug- 2002- June-05); a school feeding programme to cover 5,30,000 rural girls (5-12 years) in 5300 government primary schools of 29 high poverty districts of Pakistan for a period of 54 months at a cost of Rs. 3.6 billion. The impact assesment of school feeding programme on the nutritional status of girls, school enrollment, dropout rate, awareness of community in nutrition including utilization of funds, bottlenecks/issues, lessons learnt and proposed the changes in the design of the project including an alternate nutrition package at the end of 36 months was reported. (click Tawana Pakistan project).

12.  My scientific contribution in the field of food and nutrition is dedicated to my father, Professor Chaudhry Muhammad Khan, a renowned educationist (1892-1968) and Iqbal Begum,a devoted mother from Gujrat .They did not deprive me of their timely guidance and encouragement even after their demise (May Allah bless them). The research work has been cited in the important national/ international publications/ journals including Nature and FAO and UNICEF (United Nations).

Read for more achievements

Research Papers By Dr. Akmal Khan and co-workers

All Rights Reserved © 2011, Pak Coordinator, DFID Higher Education Link (Food and Nutrition)