Made-in-Nigeria noodles safe – NAFDAC

THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says all noodles produced in Nigeria are safe for consumption.

The agency, on Thursday, June 22, released the results of the tests it conducted on different noodle products in the country following an uproar over the withdrawal of Indomie’s special chicken flavour in Taiwan and Malaysia in April.

The ICIR reported on April 29 how Taiwan and Malaysia withdrew the products after they were found to contain ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing chemical.

Fears grew in Nigeria after the report went viral.

The National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment’s (NICRAT) position on the issue compounded Nigerians’ concerns on the continued consumption of the product.

Through its Director-General and chief executive officer, Usman Aliyu, a professor, NICRAT said Nigerians should expect more cancer cases among children who eat the product the most  if the finding was true.

NAFDAC vowed to test the Indomie special chicken flavour product and other noodles in the country to confirm the presence of the chemical.

On Thursday, June 10, NAFDAC, though its Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, said, “Samples of chicken-flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country. This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria besides Indomie, the implicated brand.

“The post-marketing surveillance division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano, and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis. The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.”

The agency took 114 samples of different noodle brands to its Central Laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, where it said analytical activities commenced on them in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis. 

NAFDAC said it took 58 from factories, 24 in Lagos, 16 in Abuja and another 16 in Kano to the lab.

However, the agency was silent on the names of the product samples it took for the tests because there are a few noodles manufacturers in Nigeria.

It used gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detector technique for the tests.

The ICIR reports that ethylene oxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is used to sterilize medical devices and has been implicated as a cancer-causing chemical.

“We did not only analyze for ethylene oxide and its derivative 2-chloroethane in the noodles and seasonings, we also analysed for other contaminants such as mycotoxins and heavy metals in the samples,” said the agency.

NAFDAC’s findings

“Ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings.

The level of mycotoxin and heavy metals was within the internationally acceptable limit.






     

     

    “Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” the agency said.

    It also explained that the existing ban on all foreign noodles remained.

    The agency blamed the delay in conducting the tests on materials it used, which it said were unavailable in Nigeria.

    The agency, saying the materials were procured overseas, explained, “It took a little while for the required materials to arrive in the country and be received in our laboratories. This delayed the release of the analytical report.”

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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