Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in a bid to make Nigerian condiments and spices attractive and safe for human consumption, locally and for export recently convened a working group meeting on the draft Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) for African Fermented Condiments at its training centre, Ogba, Lagos.
Declaring the meeting open, the Director-General, Osita Aboloma Esq. emphasized the need for the drafting of the Standards in optimizing traditional methods as well as ensuring continual improvement in the quality of seasoning with fermented condiments offered for sale and human consumption in Nigeria.
According to him, spices and condiments are made from natural plants or vegetable products and the mixtures derived are used in whole or ground form, mainly for imparting flavour, aroma and piquancy to foods. They are also used for seasoning of foods, soups and other beverages.
Represented by the Director, Standards Development, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, Aboloma underscored the significant role of spices and condiments in human life via specific flavour, taste, aroma, aesthetics and economic importance.
She explained that the production of African Fermented Condiments has been on the increase due to the introduction of new technologies resulting in large scale production. “From the traditional small-scale household basis under highly variable conditions, production of Fermented Condiments are moving to a more standardized process that will guarantee consistent quality,” she said.
According to Okunlola, the code of practice is being established for the guidance of processing and packaging African Fermented Condiments to assure the quality and ensure its safety for human consumption.
African condiments according to the Work Group are derived from different vegetables and seeds such as oil bean seeds, cotton seeds, castor oil seeds, melon seeds, locust beans etc.