NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan maize millers on Wednesday kicked off
aflatoxin testing training to enhance poisonous-free consumed
Experts from the
University of Nairobi said the training is important because
aflatoxins, found in grains such as maize and other cereals have
been reported to cause liver cancer, delayed development and
stunted growth in children.
Professor of Botany from the School of Biological Sciences at
the University of Nairobi said the training is meant to empower
the millers on the importance of their role in keeping aflatoxin
away from the flour they mill.
“We are training
millers to know that the grains consumed daily have to undergo
testing to ensure that no poisonous compounds harmful to health
occur in food processed for human consumption,” Okoth said
during the training at the university.
Okoth who is
co-principal investigators of aflatoxin proficiency testing and
control in Africa noted that the millers are being trained on
measuring and managing aflatoxin risk to increase global food
safety as a way of saving people from contracting cancer.
According to the
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), besides maize
and other crops, the toxics also affect feedstuffs, which then
contaminate milk, meat and eggs.
Kenya is one of the
world’s hotspots for aflatoxins, with what is believed to be the
highest incidence of acute toxicity ever documented.
severe outbreaks of illness from aflatoxins in 2004 and 2010,
poisoning more than 300 people in the 2004 event alone, and
killing more than 100 of them, according to health ministry.
Bernard Aduda, the
Principal College of Biological and Physical Sciences told
millers to value human life since health is critical for the
development of any given country.
“You have a role to
help reduce the deaths of Kenyans from cancer, a disease that
has claimed many people lately,” he added.
Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa, three major cities in Kenya, are
attending the aflatoxin proficiency testing training that is in
its third year in Africa.
During the training,
a collaboration of UoN and Texas A and M University,
participants learnt sources of variability in measuring
aflatoxins, working controls and control charts and how to
perform aflatoxin analysis using the equipment selected by their