The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it would begin laboratory tests on Indomie noodles following claims that it could contain carcinogenic substances.
This follows claims in Taiwan and Malaysia that ethylene oxide, a cancer causing agent, was found in samples of the Indomie chicken flavour in both countries.
The producers denies presence of the chemical in their products and maintain that Indomie is produced in accordance with international food safety regulations. The products have since been recalled from circulation in both countries.
But in a reaction on Monday, NAFDAC boss Mojisola Adeyeye said her agency was abreast of the development and has set processes in motion to investigate the noodles both at production factories and in the markets.
This, she said, was to ensure that the harmful brand of noodles has not been smuggled into the country.
“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) sample from the markets,” Mrs 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.”
The NAFDAC boss stressed that importation of noodles has been banned in the country, noting that the latest tests were “an extra caution to ensure that the product is not smuggled in.”
She said further that “we also want to be sure that the spices used for the Indomie and other noodles in Nigeria are tested.”
Per World Instant Noodles Association, Nigeria ranks 11th in the global demand for noodles with Indomie instant noodles being the most consumed brand in the country.