The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will investigate Indomie noodles after the alleged discovery of Ethylene oxide, a chemical that causes cancer, in the products manufactured by Dufil in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, on Monday, 1 May. He said NAFDAC will commence testing for a random sample among Indomie noodles.
Investigation into Indomie’s products was initiated after Malaysia and Taiwan health officials detected ethylene oxide, which is a colourless and odourless gas that is used to sterilise medical equipment and plastics, in Indomie’s special chicken flavour.
Addressing the situation, Adeyeye said Indomie noodles have been banned from the importation list, but NAFDAC intends to carry out the investigation to ensure Indomie noodles have not been smuggled into Nigeria.
The parent company of Indomie noodles is Indofood located in Indonesia, however, it is produced in Nigeria by Dufil, the makers of Minimie and Power oil brands.
“Tomorrow, May 2, 2023, NAFDAC’s food safety and applied nutrition directorate will randomly sample Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities while post-marketing surveillance directorate (will) samples from the markets,” Adeyeye told The Cable.
She further stated that: “The compound of interest is ethylene oxide, so the director, food lab services directorate, has been engaged. He is working on the methodology for the analysis.”
Disclosing NAFDAC’s plan, Adeyeye said: “The compound of interest is ethylene oxide, so the director, food lab services directorate, has been engaged. He is working on the methodology for the analysis,” adding that, “It should be noted that Indomie noodles have been banned from being imported into the country for many years. It is one of the foods on the government prohibition list. It is not allowed in Nigeria, and therefore not registered by NAFDAC.”
“What we are doing is an extra caution to ensure that the product is not smuggled in and if so, our post-marketing surveillance would detect it. We also want to be sure that the spices used for the Indomie and other noodles in Nigeria are tested.
“That is what NAFDAC food safety and applied nutrition (FSAN) and post-marketing surveillance (PMS) are doing this week at the production facilities and in the market respectively. The public will be duly updated with the outcomes of the investigation,” she added.
Note that a member of the board of directors at Indofoods, Taufik Wiraatmadja, said the company has been complying with international food safety regulations. He denied Indomie noodles are unsafe or contain Ethylene oxide.
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