'Brukina' drink contains cancer-causing substance — Research shows

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.

Brukina

The research was published in the Ghana Medical Journal.

Brukina is a millet-based fermented milk product that is consumed as a beverage and it is a type of smoothie produced and consumed in Ghana with no exception.

It is however prone to aflatoxin contamination, which is a serious health challenge for low and middle-income countries in subtropical regions.

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 Ashaiman and 6 from Nima.

Prof. Regina Appiah-Opong of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, a Toxicologist and the lead scientist said "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."

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