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General News
Poisonous Tomato Paste On The Market 10/28/2009

SOME BRANDS of tomato paste on the Ghanaian market have been found to be contaminated with starch, sugar, citric acid and fibre that are all harmful for human consumption.
According to investigators, the products, which include Bella, Fun and Fiorini tomato pastes, were imported from China.
Like fermentation, the acidity of the products is not in the right quantity and therefore reduces the quality of the products.
City & Business Guide has learnt that the situation is causing much anxiety among the consuming public who believe that these products could have adverse effects on their health.
According to sources, these imported products were cheaper than the locally made tomato pastes such as la Bianca, Gino and Salsa that only contained concentrated tomato and salt.
Investigations revealed that these imported tomato pastes contain sugar, acid and other additives, which were thick and had better taste and colour.
When City & Business Guide contacted Charles Mensah Akorli, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Expom Ghana limited, producers of la Bianca tomato paste, he indicated that even though some of the imported tomato pastes contain sugar, flour, acid and others, the locally made ones did not have these additives.
He said, “The only ingredient we add in our processing is salt, which is to help preserve it.
These importers are flooding the markets with inferior goods. “Very soon, if care is not taken some of the local manufacturers would also start adding these dangerous additives to their products.
“The acids that are added to the paste are bad even if it does not harm consumers.
An official from the Ghana Standards Board told City & Business Guide that “the Board’s specification does not permit the sale of tomato pastes with these said ingredients.
“The only additives which are permitted in tomato pastes are spices, vegetable products and salt but not sugar glucose or acid.”
The official further noted that the importers of the said products had failed the Ghana Standards Boards, adding, “It has come to our notice that five of the said products are in town but we are still working to ban these products.
“We are also planning to meet the importers of tomato pastes in the country to address the issue.”
“Other countries do not allow the consumption of these products, so it is forbidding in this country.
He therefore advised the public to be on the look out for such harmful products on the market.

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