Maize is one of our staple foods here in Nigeria, and Africa at large. A large percentage of the world's maize are grown and produced in Africa. As amazing as this might sounds, adequate storage and transportation facilities have been one of the major issues and setbacks facing food production and agriculture in Africa, including Nigeria.
Cultivating maize might have some few setbacks and difficulty but can't be worse as storing it for sale. Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that grows on maize, grows on maize that are poorly stored or dried. Aspergillus flavus is just one out of hundreds of fungi that grows on corns but it is the most dangerous of all.
Aspergillus flavus grows on maize in forms of moulds. In some maize, we find moulds on them that looks harmless, and sometimes we think we can wash away the moulds with water or destroy them with heat while cooking should in case it is harmful to the health, of course that's the moulds of Aspergillus flavus.However, studies have showed that this fungus produce carcinogen toxins called Aflatoxins(a group of toxins produced by Aspergillus flavus) which can't be destroyed by cooking or roasting. Aflatoxins are potent hepatocarcinogens (liver cancer-causing agents) and are found to be the cause of rampant cases of liver cancer where there's poor storage facilities for maize such that they became contaminated with the fungus such that they end up eating contaminated corns like this without safety or ignorantly.
It is high time our local farmers and agriculturist are informed about the carcinogenic effects of eating Aspergillus infected maizes gotten from poor storage and processing plans.
The government needs to do something fast to improve our food security, health and safety. All other countries of the world are not left out in this battle with maize contaminated with cancer causing mycotoxins- a vital reason why Nigeria should do something fast before Aflatoxin-induced liver cancer becomes an outbreak or epidemic in Nigeria, just like it was in India.
And you, yes you! You have a part to play in this. Taking maize with moulds isn't good for you, you've read that. You have to avoid maize with any appearance of moulds or better still, get the fresh(newly harvested) ones that is if it hasn't been infected right from the farm or field. In short, check your corns for any presence of moulds before buying.
The liver organ is one of the vital organs in the body, and cancer is no joke. So steer clear of any corn infected with moulds or corns that doesn't look attractive or healthy to it. Well, if you love roasted roadside corns, here's one of the reasons that shows they are not good for you.
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