The Researcher at the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology of the University of Ghana, Prof.George Tawaih Odamtem has revealed that, fungus found on overly ripen plantain produces toxic which has been associated with esophageal cancer.
He made this statement at the Academy of Arts and Sciences Inaugural lecture under the theme “Plant Diseases, Crop Production and Food Security In Ghana” in Accra.
According to him, research has shown that, bacteria that causes plantain decay which is used to prepare a favorite delicacy popularly known as ‘kaklo’ (a local fried mashed plantain) is harmful for human consumption.
Oesophageal cancer occurs when an abnormality occurs in the food pipe or tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach he added.
Some market women told gijonlinenews.com that, they are unaware that the in take of overly ripen plantain can trigger cancer.
Madam Naa Ayele a plantain seller at the market narrated that, most people use the overly ripen plantain to prepare food for their family.
According to her, selling plantain is their only source of income and it will be difficult for them to stop selling overly ripen plantain because it is highly purchased and cheaper.
"We have been eating ‘kaklo’ since childhood and none of my family members has developed cancer and even the overly ripen plantain is sweeter and is preferred by most people” she added.
Story by: Felicia Andevie (Diploma 1 C)