The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has declared that its investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles and their seasonings has confirmed that all noodles produced in Nigeria are safe for human consumption.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Christianah Adeyeye made this known on Thursday while briefing journalists in Lagos.
According to her, ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings, therefore all noodles produced in Nigeria are safe for human consumption.
She said: “The level of Mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit. Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat.”
“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 samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”
Speaking further, Adeyeye noted that the agency deployed the technique using Gas Chromatography with a Mass Spectrometry detector, adding that a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and seasonings were received.
She explained that the compound of interest, ethylene oxide, is a colourless, odourless gas that is used to sterilise medical devices and has been implicated as a cancer-causing chemical.
She said: “We did not only analyze for ethylene oxide and its derivative 2-Chloroethanol in the noodles and seasonings; we also analysed for other contaminants such as mycotoxins and heavy metals in the samples.”
It was reported that the investigation was occasioned by the recalls of Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’ by the Ministries of Health in Malaysia and Taiwan on account of the alleged presence of ethylene oxide, a compound associated with an increased risk of cancer.