Garjila Danjuma tackles food fraud in Nigeria
Mr. Garjila Danjuma Gansheya, MSc student at ACEMFS
Written By Millicent Afriyie Kyei
Food fraud includes deliberate modifications made to the content of food products for economic gain. Food fraud endangers product authenticity, causes economic damage, and can cause risks to user wellbeing. Food Fraud and Authenticity is gradually becoming one of the most crucial and active food research fields globally. As such, it remains a critical issue in most countries on the African continent.
Mr. Garjila Danjuma Gansheya is a Master’s student at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Mycotoxin and Food Safety (ACEMFS), Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria. He is conducting an investigative study on Food Fraud Detection, Analysis, and Modifying Mitigating Techniques aimed at contributing to the practical steps laid down by the Nigerian government and other health research institutions to minimize food fraud.
He noted that “Food fraud has become an evolving challenge in the Nigerian health system that has led to the deaths of many people, especially the vulnerable groups that include mostly children, the elderly, and immune-compromised persons. Although food and health researchers, as well as regulatory bodies, have implemented a wide range of instrumental techniques such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, among others to monitor food fraud and authenticity, food fraud is still ongoing in diverse localities because the wide gap between the lab, consumer and the market is unabridged.” Therefore, as part of his study, Garjila seeks to provide innovative techniques in detecting and mitigating food fraud.
Garjila’s passion for food safety influenced his enrolment in ACEMFS where he believes that the centre’s ultra-modern equipment and dedicated faculty and research programs meet global standards, therefore the center is well-positioned to offer training which meets the demanding knowledge and expertise towards mitigating issues related to food safety in the region. To further create awareness on Food fraud and Authenticity, Mr. Gansheya in collaboration with some of his colleagues would carry out sensitization programs in the Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa, and Bauch communities in Northeastern Nigeria.
Garjila’s career goal is to become a Food Safety Scientist, “to proffer solutions to food-related issues and challenges, by building a path for safe food in Nigeria and Africa.” When advising young students and researchers, Garjila stresses the need for innovative and transformative research which responds to community and national challenges. He added that students should be “diligent at their research and never relent because the world awaits their inputs to make it a better place.”