It has been reported recently that there is high aflatoxin levels in sunflower seeds and products made from them like edible sunflower oil that is frequently consumed by Tanzanians. This is according to PloS ONE Journal whereby a team of scientists from Michigan State University, America in Collaboration with Sokoine University revealed and documented occurrence of aflatoxin in sunflower seeds and their products in Tanzania that can cause cancer.
However, high aflatoxin levels in sunflower seeds and cakes do not guarantee edible sunflower oil to have high aflatoxin level due to the refining processes that edible sunflower oil undergoes.
TBS as a sole standards body has a mandate to ensure that all products either produced locally or imported adhere to the required national standards before reaching the market. Edible sunflower oil is among the products which fall under compulsory standards. Therefore all manufacturers/ producers of edible sunflower oil must comply with Tanzania Standard TZS 50:2014 and the harmonized East Africa Standard (EAS) for Edible sunflower oil- Specification: EAS 299:2013, Edible sunflower oil-Specification
The EAS edible sunflower oil specification is used in the whole East African region for ascertaining quality of the product that includes testing if there are molds that commonly infect corn, peanuts, pistachios and almonds.
Sunflower seeds as per Tanzania Standards specification TZS 1578:2012 and oil seeds cakes as animal feed specification, TZS 819:2004 guide producers in achieving the safety and quality sunflower seeds feet for oil milling and animal feeds respectively.
All certified edible sunflower oil bear ‘tbs’ mark of quality, the mark which can easily enable consumers to identify a certified product in the market and make a choice.
With this notice, TBS reminds all manufacturers of edible sunflower oil to ensure that they certify their products before penetrating into the market and produce quality products all the time. On the other hand, all sellers of edible sunflower oil should ensure that they sell products which bear the ‘tbs’ mark of quality.
NOTE: Consumers should always buy TBS certified products for their safety.
Tanzania Bureau of Standards
P. O. Box 9524
Dar es Salaam
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