Research by Chancellor College has indicated groundnuts powder (msinjiro) most small-scale traders sell in local markets has low levels of aflatoxin and, as such, it does not pose any danger to life.
Aflatoxinâ€”a poisonous substance found in groundnuts, maize and other cropsâ€”has been a major concern on both local and international markets as it causes cancer, kwashiorkor, jaundice and other health challenges if consumed in excess amounts.
But the research jointly done by Martin Likongwe, Jessica Chiumia, Dr Mangani Katundu and Dr Lucy Binauli has revealed that home-processed msinjilo have internationally accepted low levels of aflatoxin.
The studyâ€”presented at this yearâ€™s College of Medicine (CoM) research and dissemination conference in Blantyre on Saturdayâ€”was conducted at Ndirande, Zingwangwa and Limbe markets in Blantyre and Mpondabwino and Chikanda markets in Zomba.
Likongwe said they discovered that 70 percent of small-scale traders dry and sort properly their groundnuts before it is processed into msinjilo.
Dr Katundu said consumers influence the quality of msinjilo on the market.
â€œWhat you have to know is that most small-scale businesspeople heavily rely on repeat sales and they know that if their msinjilo is bitter because it has high levels of aflatoxin, they will lose customers,â€ he said.
He said msinjilo will pass even if stringent European Union food standards are used.
The conference, themed â€˜Promoting Research for a Healthy Populationâ€™, drew scientists from all over the country and beyond.
Dean of postgraduate studies and research Dr Kamija Phiri said research is important as it helps to inform government policies.
â€œThe conference offers an opportunity for researchers to share ideas and the public to engage scientists on critical issues,â€ he said.