Ghanaian researchers have discovered that fufu and fish soup is a major cause of cancer.
The study further found that the consumption of burnt rice (kanzo), and fried rice and chicken can also lead to cancer.
The scientific research said to have been conducted by Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and published in Scientific Africa journal investigated the unsafe levels of toxic metals (aluminum, iron, and lead) in two commonly consumed foods sold by street vendors in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
Cooked food (fufu and fish soup as well as fried rice and chicken) were sampled from 18 selected vendors in the Kumasi metropolis.
‘In the fufu, we found the cancer causing agent in the soup. The fish used in preparing the soup was smoked. As a fish gets smoked and charred or burnt, it becomes pyrenised. This is because the fish had contact with metal that contains Benzo(a) pyrene which causes cancer’, one of the researchers reportedly said in a Joynews documentary adding;
‘Continuous stirring of rice in a pan before it fries makes it contaminated with metallic Benzo(a)pyrene. Sometimes the laddle used in stirring fried rice is even a metal’.
Lead scientist Dr Gloria Mathanda Ankar-Brewoo explained that ‘These heavy metals may have found their way into the food through cooking with locally manufactured cooking pots or from water used in cooking’.
The research recommended to the food vendors to replace old pots (locally manufactured) and start using stainless steel utensils.
Again, they should check unhygienic and unsafe practices with regards to the storage, handling and preparation of food.
Editor’s Note: Article written with extra materials from Myjoyonline.com and Opera News