The Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has called on regulatory authorities to deploy science technology to control mycotoxins in food.
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds (fungi).
Moulds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and
Mrs Vera Ezeh, Chairperson of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the institute made the suggestion on Thursday in Abuja during its Regional Food Summit.
The theme of the summit was “Promoting Food Safety in Nigeria by the control of Micotoxins in the Food Supply.”
Ezeh said that ingestion of mycotoxin contaminated foods had enormous public health as well as economic significance.
“This year’s theme is apt because Nigeria is going through diversification of its mono economy, majorly through agriculture and solid minerals.
” The ingestion of mycotoxin-contaminated foods has enormous public health significance.
“Anything that affects health can not promote the economy, and handling of agricultural produce comes with enormous challenges.
” The quickest way to solving the issue is through deployment of science and technology,” she said.
Ezeh said that the intention of the food summit was to educate participants on the effects of micotoxins in food value chains and proffer solutions.
Mr Oluwole Toye, President, and Chairman of the NIFST council said that the regional food summit was a commendable idea becsuse it would take the message of food safety to the grassroots.
He urged members of the institute to undertake initiatives that would ensure food safety as well as job creation initiatives across the country.
He described NIFST as the largest body of food professionals in Africa, urging members to ensure that their impact is felt in the society.
Also present at the food summit was Mr Hafis Abubakar, a former Deputy Governor of Kano State, who commended NIFST for its efforts towards ensuring food safety in Nigeria.
Also, a Nigerian legislator, Rep. Abante, commended the institute, while pledging the support of the legislature to its efforts.
NIFST is a body of food professionals drawn from across different sectors in the food chain.
It provides professional support to public and private institutions as well as individuals in the food industry.
It also promotes Food Science and Technology as a professional discipline which contributes to nation building.