Students Enlightened on Safety in the Manufacturing Industry
Students in the Department of Chemistry, Covenant University have been urged to familiarise themselves with the principles and work ethics of a Chemist in manufacturing industry, in order to safeguard the product consumers. This advise was given by the Head, Production Department, De-United Foods Limited, Mr. Ogunleye Timothy, at a recent Town and Gown interaction organised by the Department.
The Guest Speaker, in his presentation, titled, “Oil Stability Analysis: Industrial Practical Perspective and its Arising Global Issues", advised the students to be vigilant, and have good sensory organs that can easily perceive bad odours during production process. He also urged them to have a personality that portrays integrity to remain relevant in the industry because the health condition of the consumers is not negotiable.
Mr. Ogunleye further exposed the students to the basic quality control processes in an industry, ranging from the incoming to in-processes and outgoing materials. “Document all materials in incoming logbooks, give code to each raw material for traceability, take sample applying the sampling, carry out various analysis based on standard and document results in appropriate log sheets,” he said.
He also explained some basic important analysis and business decisions, including the global issues monitored by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in the industry, emphasising that these bodies regulate control factory processes as well as ensure that products are within the standard through surveillance checks.
He further stated that these agencies came up with the issue of Acrylamide- a chemical used primarily as a building block in making Polyacrylamide and Acrylamide Copolymers. This Copolymer, according to him is used in many industrial processes, such as the production of paper, dyes, and plastics, and in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, including sewage. They are found in consumer products, such as caulking, food packaging, and some adhesives.
Mr. Ogunleye explained that, “Researchers in Europe and the United States have found Acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius but not in foods prepared below this temperature. Highest-risk foods for acrylamide includes fried and processed foods like potato chips and french fries; baked snack foods containing wheat an sugar, including cookies and crackers; and processed foods involving toasted grains including toasted wheat cereals, and roasted grain-based coffee substitutes. Acrylamide has also been shown to be a neurotoxin that can damage nervous system function,” he added.
He advised faculty, staff and students to restrict intake of the above foods, and engage in healthy intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, red peppers and other foods because they help the body detoxify some of the acrylamide elements.