The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles produced in Nigeria safe for consumption.
This is coming after its findings from the investigation regarding the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles and their seasoning.
The agency confirmed that all noodles manufactured within Nigeria are deemed safe for consumption.
During a press briefing held in Lagos on Thursday, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, the Director General of NAFDAC, disclosed that no trace of ethylene oxide or its derivative was found in any of the locally produced instant noodles and their seasoning.
“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.”
NAFDAC 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.
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 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,” she noted.
Prof. Adeyeye said that the agency deployed the technique using Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry detector and a total of 144 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were also received.
Explaining, she said the compound of interest –ethylene oxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is used to sterilize medical devices and has been implicated as a cancer-causing chemical.
She said the agency did not just analyze the cancer-causing compound and its derivative 2- chloroethanol in the noodles and the seasonings, “we also analyze other contaminants such as mycotoxins and heavy metals in the samples.”
Speaking on the delay in the analytical activities in the laboratory, Adeyeye said it was not deliberate as the agency had to place orders for the procurement and supply of certified reference materials (standards), reagents and chemicals from outside the country.