One of Nigeria’s food products companies, Erisco Foods Limited has alerted Nigerians to the danger of consuming fake tomato pastes, which it said have flooded the market.
The warning is coming on the heels of the recent discovery by NAFDAC that 91.1% of tomato pastes available in Nigerian markets were substandard.
Addressing the media in Lagos, Erisco Foods CEO, Mr. Eric Umeofia, accused some unscru¬pulous group of Asian busi¬nessmen and their Nigerian collaborators of selling starch and colouring in the name of tomato paste.
Umeofia, while carrying out a practical demonstration of the features of tomato pastes from Nigeria, South Africa, USA and China, revealed that pastes from Nigeria, South Africa and USA share similar quality characteristics in terms of quality, the ones from Asia failed the colour test, showing that they contain starch and colouring.
“A wholesome, natural tomato paste should be dark-red. The light-red coloured tomato pastes which are eye-catching and cheaper, are actually full of synthetic colouring and poses great danger to the health of consumers.
“Apart from the cancer-causing colouring, the starch contained in those products is clearly harmful to unsuspecting diabetic patients”, he explained.
He however, recommended Ric-Giko tomato paste made by his company to consumers, describing it as excellent for consumption.