One would like to enjoy a cold bottle of ‘brukina’ (or bokina), a dairy milk and millet mixture, to release some stress on a sunny afternoon.
But have you bothered to know what this meal contains?
Research conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana has found that some samples of ‘brukina’ and the millet and dairy milk used to prepare it, contain unacceptable levels of aflatoxins that can cause cancer after continuous intake.
The research was published in the Ghana Medical Journal.
Aflatoxins are a group of highly toxic substances produced by a fungus known as Aspergillus.
The study sought to investigate levels of aflatoxin in ‘brukina’.
For the study, ‘brukina’ samples were purchased from ‘brukina’ producers monthly over a period of 7 months.
Twenty-one samples were collected from each site, Nima and Ashaiman in Accra, to be tested.
After testing, the scientists found that 1 sample from Ashaiman and 2 from Nima had high levels of aflatoxin (AFB1) above the acceptable limit.
Twelve (12) dairy milk samples from Ashaiman and 10 from Nima had levels of aflatoxin (AFM1) above the acceptable limit.
Some of the ‘brukina’ samples tested were contaminated with aflatoxin and all doses of aflatoxins have a cumulative effect on the risk of cancer.
Similarly, aflatoxins (AFB1) were found in 2 millet samples from Ashiaman and 6 from Nima.
“Based on these results, it is prudent to avoid feeding infants with brukina since their bodies are more sensitive to toxic insults.
“Also, farmers and ‘brukina’ producers must be educated on good storage practices and monitored by the regulatory agents to protect the public from aflatoxin exposure and toxicity,” said Prof. Regina Appiah-Opong of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, a Toxicologist and the lead scientist.