Moi-Moi, a Nigerian steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of washed and peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers has undergone different changes in terms of packaging.
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In the early days, moi-moi was prepared/cooked using some special green leaves; from the use of leaves it moved to the use of used tins of milk or tomatoes. More recently, and in order to overcome the stress of recovering the tins for reuse, polythene or cellophane sheets are now being used to package/cook moi-moi for convenience.
Recently an awareness campaign at Ilorin, Kwara State funded by the European Union on food safety was organised Tuesday by the Food safety Awareness Campaign Initiatives where people were advised against using polythene or cellophane sheets for packaging/cooking moi-moi as it produce a toxic substance called dioxins that causes cancer.
Mr John Tehinse, a dietician gave a lecture tiltled “Food Safety Control System in Nigeria” where he advised people against cooking with polythene or cellophane sheets because of the attendant health dangers involved in the practice. He said when polythene or cellophane are heated, they produce dioxins and “they are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs)’’.
He buttressed that dioxins are highly toxic and could cause reproductive and developmental problems. They are also known to damage the immune system, interfere negatively with hormones and also cause cancer.
He therefore advised people to revert back to the traditional practice of using special green leaves to cook moi-moi for health and safety purposes.
Moi-moi is a protein-rich, staple food in Nigeria and has its origin in West Africa.