It is popularly known as Ube among the Igbos in the south eastern part. Its Botanical name is Dacryodes edulis. It has an African origin precisely the eastern part of Nigeria. The African pear is also prevalent in other parts of African countries and has different names. Like other fruits, African pear is noted to possess some health benefits which researchers believe that it;s chemical components. African pear is believed to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, diuretic, and antispasmodics in nature. African pear is a fleshy luscious fruit that is rich in oils and minerals. It is particularly believed to high in calcium and can provide the daily requirement for calcium. Calcuim is a requirement for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Reseachers also believed that eating African pear regularly may help to prevent some forms of cancer.
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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
Increasingly, many Nigerian have said to have died from eating contaminated food. Alfred
Ihenkuronye, a professor of Food Science and Technology stated recently that no fewer than 200,000 persons die
annually in the country as a result of contaminated foods.
According to him, there are various ways through which food can be contaminated, most of which have been traced to the preparation and handling of the food by the food vendors. These should be a source of concern because food poisoning can cause a serious damage and in most cases lead to death.
According toWorld Health Organization , "New threats to food safety are constantly
emerging. Changes in food production, distribution and consumption;
changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; antimicrobial
resistance - all pose challenges to national food safety systems".
However, WHO offers five practical guides to food vendors and consumers for
handling and preparation: Keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook
food thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and
raw materials. What the authorities must now do is a campaign to
sensitise the public about these measures.