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Expert warns against adding chemicals to food

Expert warns against adding chemicals to food
Photo by Diana Polekhina- Ask Nigeria

Food scientist has warned against adding chemicals to food products.

A director at the Agric Extension of Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukunoluwa Iroko, has advised against adding chemicals to food products to act as preservatives. She says that these chemicals have long-term health consequences. She explained that some people use chemicals to act as preservatives and to prevent microorganisms from growing in food. Sometimes, these chemicals could be used against pest and its effects on food. Pests such as weevils, spiders, worms, or even tiny microorganisms that attack food crops.

She says that some of the chemicals being used include hypo, detergents, and potash to aid the texture, look, and taste of the food. Sometimes, it could be to ease the food processing. “Food vendors are mixing chemicals like hypo, various types of detergent and potash with cassava during the processing to soften and ferment the cassava. These chemicals are added to foods to enhance texture, color, taste, or chemical preservatives, as well as the appearance and operation of processors,” she said.

Nigeria lacks adequate storage facilities for food crops.

In Nigeria, preserving food is either a very hard task or quite expensive, or both. There are no adequate storage facilities for food products especially farm produce such as grains, beans, yam, etc. Where the facilities are available and accessible, they are expensive. So, a businessperson who only wants to make a profit will find alternative means of preserving the products. There is also an appeal that the texture, taste, and appearance of the products become enhanced.

Food processing is also another aspect of agriculture in Nigeria which is unregulated and where people often cut corners. Processing food the traditional way is sometimes unprofitable and difficult to maintain. Therefore, some people ease the process by using these chemicals. Using chemicals is not the only way people cut corners in this area; another concerning aspect is the area of hygiene. While poor hygiene may not have deadly effects like harmful chemicals, it could lead to various diseases, too, such as Lassa fever.

Organic agriculture is taxing and much harder to adhere to.

Organic agriculture involves planting crops, harvesting them, and processing them into food without employing chemicals. During planting, organic agriculture does not use chemicals such as fertilizer, pesticides, etc. While processing, preservatives and others chemicals that can affect one’s health are not used. Because of the effort involved, it is unfit for commercial adoption in this present times. For instance, instead of using pesticides and fertilizers, organic agriculture prefers removing weeds and unwanted plants, and using manure as fertilizer.

This method is taxing and usually unprofitable. If it is to be adopted for commercial purposes, more laborers will be needed as well as more farm materials such as net barricades to keep pests out. As much as farmers now prefer genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemical fertilizers, food processor employ chemicals to ease the processing of food too. This happens in the processing of rice, beans, cassava, maize, and other products. For example, it is not uncommon for beans that have added chemicals to be physically and texturally appealing and to last longer in storage.

These chemicals have been linked to various diseases.

Mrs. Iroko, says that the human body cannot digest these chemicals and that they have been linked to various kinds of diseases including kidney disease and cancer. These effects may not show immediately, but the chemicals in the body will cause them in the long run. Mrs. Iroko, called on food regulatory agencies in Nigeria to implement and enforce food safety policies to protect Nigerians. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is the government agency tasked with such responsibilities.


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24 comments
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Ask Nigeria
Ask Nigeria
5 months ago

Expert warns against adding chemicals to foodFood scientist has warned against adding chemicals to food products.Express your point of view.

Ask Nigeria
Ask Nigeria
5 months ago

Expert warns against adding chemicals to foodFood scientist has warned against adding chemicals to food products.Express your point of view.

DimOla
DimOla
5 months ago

Nobody want to wait or waste time again. Quick money is the order of the day couple with the level of poverty being experience in this country. Anybody will want to add chemical to speedup riping process, growth process or preservation all in the name of I want to make enough gains without considering the after effect of it on humans health.
In additional, ignorance can also be a major factor. If government or any voluntary agent can create awareness thereby educating the farmers on the danger of using all these chemicals for farming, I believe it will reduce the use of chemicals for such purpose.

jdpumping
jdpumping
5 months ago

Food preservation has been a problem in Nigeria for long where by various insecticides are used in preserving all these foods there by causing health challenges to consumers,Nafdac need to do more

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
5 months ago

The reason why most people are adding chemical to food to preserved food is because we lack preservation of Nigeria if food are preserve in a normal it suppose to be preserve there will no need to be adding chemical to food in other to preserve it and this chemical they are adding to food as is own disadvantages to the body. I hope they find a good way and better way to preserved food rather than adding chemical to the food. food is important while our health is most important. Our health comes first

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
5 months ago

Adding chemicals to food is very bad and is a significant danger to our health. I hope people will desist from this act

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
5 months ago

Some people add these chemicals to food to make it sweeter, which is very bad because it will make the food unsafe for consumption

Remi1
Remi1
5 months ago

How can you be mixing hypo(bleach) with food ahhh dont this people value their lives anymore. This is sad

Last edited 5 months ago by Remi1
Taiwoo
Taiwoo
5 months ago

If the government provides standard storage sheds and facilities to these farmers they wont need to be using all these preservatives

Abusi
Abusi
5 months ago

This is an hygienic news that is meant for us to know. Putting chemicals into food is injurious to the body system. Enlightenment has to be done for Nigerians regarding adopting a good culture of food preservation.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
5 months ago

These farmers needs proper education and sensitization on how to properly use these chemicals to prevent it from killing people

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
5 months ago

Even if the organic process takes time people or farmers should stick to it because it is healthier and safer to eat

Bola12
Bola12
5 months ago

It’s greediness that makes this farmer employ the use of chemicals for speeding up the growth of their crops they deserve to be punished

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
5 months ago

NAFDAC needs to step up and ensure more regulatory measures are put in ace to control these farmers and ensure they follow the guidelines

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
5 months ago

These farmers need financial support for them to properly develop their farming business and provide good quality crops for us

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
5 months ago

Some of these farmers probably know of the dangers of using these chemicals, but they still do them anyway; this shows they are wicked beings

Yomii
Yomii
5 months ago

We need to be aware of this sanitary piece of information. The consumption of food that has been tainted with chemicals is detrimental to the human body. The Nigerian population has to be educated about the importance of developing a healthy attitude toward the storage of food.

AN-Usman
Member
5 months ago

Without knowing or caring about it most of apple and can foods that we eat nowadays have been overly preserved with chemical can that harm our body in the long run. No wonder people no longer live long compared to dates back and tend to be easily diagnose of cancer and the likes, NAFDAC should really ban out all this foods.

Khalifa001
Khalifa001
5 months ago

Adding chemicals to food is bad and not good for the system food are to be planted and not experimented

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
5 months ago

chemicals have on fruit is not good for the health. It can cause alot of consequence in human health. Minister of Agriculture need to work to do, by checking and monitoring of things we eat before it enter market for sales

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
5 months ago

Some farmers are aware of the danger behind preserving food but they still opt in for it probably because we lack preservation process or there are no adequate storage facilities to preserve our food products. I hope they find a good way and better way to preserved food rather than adding chemical to the food making it dangerous and poisonous to the body

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
5 months ago

Food preservation has been a challenge to farmers. Though some have the knowledge about the dangers which preserving food with chemicals entails but they still opt in using chemicals to hasten up the growth if their plants for a quick harvest and for preservations just because the country lack proper preservation methods…..so bad! I think enlightenment has to be done for farmers, NAFDAC checks to be done on can foods too and any farmer guilty afterwards should face the law.

Last edited 5 months ago by Iyanu12345ogg
Adeolastan
Adeolastan
5 months ago

Government need to act fast in making the agency responsible in regulating and monitoring food processing to do their job thoroughly because the rate at which kidney disease and Cancer sickness now rampant in Nigeria it’s really cause for concern and if the agency like NAFDAC didn’t do much more than what there doing now,we are sitting on keg of gun powder.

theApr
theApr
5 months ago

If adding chemicals to foods have health risks, then but should not be an option at all. Irrespective of the purpose or advantage sort of. It’s understandable that preservation of farm produce may be quite difficult. Buh then human health is crucial.

AN-Abiodun
Member
5 months ago

Most people believe that organic farming is hard and costly to practice, so they rely on the inorganic method.

And most of those practices are birthed in the quest to maximize profit, not minding their implication on human health.

A lot of people are ignorant about those chemicals used in preservation that they are harmful to the body. If they can create more awareness and funding, this act will reduce.