Preprint / Version 1

Raw Food Additives and Preservation among Traders in Enugu Metropolis


  • Chinenye C Odo Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria
  • Valentine T Obi Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria
  • Ugochukwu E Obu Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria
  • Jonathan I Obidiegwu Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria



Background: Food additives and preservation methods are practices employed during the production or processing of food, to improve its appearance, taste, and other qualities of concern. While some of these provide nutritional benefits or improve food safety, others are known to pose potential health risks and cause harm to the human body.

Objective: The overall objective of this study is to profile and analyze the practice and perception of health effects of raw food additives and preservation methods, among traders in Enugu metropolis.

Methodology: New market and Old Artisan were the two markets selected in Enugu North Local Government Area, from which 402 raw food traders were selected using a multi staged sampling method. A semi structured questionnaire was administered over two weeks in this descriptive cross-sectional study to traders who deal in palm oil, beans, maize, rice, pawpaw, orange and banana (at least 57 traders per food item).

Result: A total of 402 traders (minimum of 57 for each food item) were studied. commonest practice for preventing palm oil spoilage was by Enugu metropolis traders was by addition of salt [21 traders (36.8%)], and for reddening their oil, addition of red food color (tartrazine)[24 traders (42.1%)], while For improving the quantity of their palm oil, water was added [15 traders (26.3%)]. To improve taste, the commonest additive was salt [23 traders (40.4%)]. The commonest preservation method used for grains against weevil by Enugu metropolis traders is use of pesticides; beans [8 - 23 traders (14.0% - 40.4%)]. The commonest additive added in grains to prevent spoilage by Enugu traders is Aluminum Phosphide; [9 - 27 traders (15.8% - 47.4%)]. The commonest additive used by Enugu metropolis traders to ripen their fruits was Calcium carbide (3.4% - 19.0%). The commonest methods employed in ripening fruits among Enugu traders was wrapping in an airtight polythene bag [4 - 29 traders, (6.9% - 50.0%)]. Red paint was the commonest additive perceived to be harmful by palm oil traders (11, 19.3%). This is followed closely by red food color tartrazine (8, 14.0%). DDVP was the commonest additive perceived to be harmful by most grain sellers [8 - 16 out of 57 respondents (14.0% - 28.1%)] . Calcium carbide was the commonest fruit additive perceived to be harmful by most fruit sellers [1 - 7 out of 57 respondents (1.7% - 12.1%)].

Conclusion: Overall, the use of unsafe additives and preservation methods were noted among the respondents. Many of whom did not perceive any harmfulness associated with the use of these additives. The findings agree with several similar studies in the past, and recommendations to the traders, consumers, governmental and non-governmental agencies have therefore been made.


Public Health, Food safety, Food practice


Download data is not yet available.


Abdulmumeen, H. (2012). Food: Its Preservatives, additives and applications. International Journal of Chemical and biochemical sciences, 55-58.

Asogwa I.S. (2017). Promotion of Indigenous Food Preservation and Processing Knowledge and the Challenge of Food Security in Africa. Journal of Food Security, 75-87.

Ayangealumun, L. (2009, July 16). Nigerian Students Blog. Retrieved from NIGERIAN STUDENTS BLOG:

Essays, UK. (2018, November). Methods of food preservation. Retrieved from Essays UK:


Ewepu, G. (2011). Public Health Challenges in Nigeria: The Case of Food Poisoning”. Nigeria: The Guardian .

Folarin, S. (2018). how fruits ripened with carbide kill nigerians. Retrieved december 27, 2019. Nigeria: PUNCH NG.

Gil, H.-W. (2013). An outbreak of food borne illness due to methomyl pesticide intoxication in Korea. journal of korean medical science, 1677-1681.

Ibeanu, V. (2005). food preservation and security at house hold level in rural Nsukka,Enugu State, Nigeria. Unite Nations Millenium, 125-130.

Inetianbor, J. (2015). Effects of food additives and preservatives on a man- review. Asian Journal of Science and Technology vol.6, 1118-11135.

Kolawole, O. (2010). indigenous fish processing and preservation practices amongst women in southwestern Nigeria. ndian Journal of Traditional Knowledge vol.9, 668-672.

Kwesiga, B. (2019). fatal cases associated with eating chapatti contaminated with organophosphate in Uganda. BMC Public Health.

Longari, M. (2017). ood safety knowledge, attitudes and practices among food consumers in the west bank and gaza strip. Jerusalem: FAO.

Nigeria Compass Newspaper. (2011). en Teachers Died and several others Hospitalized as a Result of Food Poisoning in Kastina. Kastina: Nigeria Compass Newspaper.

Oduro-Yeboah, C. (2016). The role of traditional food processing technologies in preservation of foods: the Ghanaian experience. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development.

Ofor, M. (2011). raditional Methods of Preservation and Storage of Farm Produce in Africa. New York Science Journal, 58-62.

okogeri, O. (2013). adulteration of crude palm oil with red dye from the leaf sheath of sorghum bicolor. food science and quality management vol.17 .

okojie, j. (2019). how safe are the food nigerians consume. Nigeria: business day NG.

Olori, t. (2019). Killer Beans Cause Major Scare. . Nigeria: inter press service news agency.

Olowolagba, F. (2018). how amala killed four family members in kwara. Kwara: daily post NG.

Olunike, A. A. (2014). Storage, Preservation and Processing of Farm Produce . Food Science and Quality Management, 28-32.

Olurankinse C.A. (2014). Strategies for Sustainable Food Processing and Preservation. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, 31-36.

Oparaocha, E. (2019). Effects of Palm Oil Colorant on the Hepatic Functions of Albino Rats. ACTA SCIENTIFIC NUTRITIONAL HEALTH Volume 3 Issue 4 .

Phillips, B. M. (2010). Food preservation practices in selected homemakers in East Tennessee. Ecology of Food and Nutrition vol.5 , 29-35.

Punch Editorial Board. (2018, November 22). PUNCH. Retrieved from

Rollins, i. (2015). consumers' perception of safety of foods in south-south and south-east Nigeria. Enugu.

Spencer, M. (1974). food additives. postgraduate medical journal , 620-624.

Tayo, a. (2017). the mysterious case of the 'killer beans' in nigeria in 1996. Nigeria: Pulse NG.

Tomi Falade, B. (2017). Now selling in Lagos; fruits of death. Nigeria: INDEPENDENT.

Tribune Newspaper. (2011). Seven Died of Food Poisoning in Ogbomoso. Ogbomoso: Tribune Newspaper.

WHO. (2009). Report on Food Safety and Health; A Strategy for the WHO Africa Region. Africa: WHO.





Working Paper