The relative inexpensiveness of plastics has contributed to its ubiquity. Plastics are used as packaging materials for several food products. Inherent in these plastics is Bisphenol A, a chemical with estrogen-mimicking properties. The continuous use of plastic films as a primary packaging material for Fante kenkey is a worry, as Bisphenol A may leach from the plastic films into the Fante kenkey. This study set out to determine the risks associated within the consumption of Fante kenkey wrapped in plastic films. A dietary questionnaire was used to collect information on the consumption of Fante kenkey in the study area. Fante kenkey samples were homogenised and Bisphenol A extracted using acetonitrile as part of a QuEChERS method. Extracts were then analyzed using a Cecil-Adept Binary Pump HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) coupled with a Shimadzu fluorescence detector. Bisphenol A was detected in 54% of the samples analyzed, with a range from 5.5×10-8 mg/g to 3.155×10-6 mg/g. The Palisade @Risk software was used to run a Monte Carlo simulation at 1000,000 iterations to obtain the risks. Chronic daily intake of Bisphenol A among consumers had a mean, median and mode of 6.278×10-7, 2.453×10-7 and 1.022×10-7 respectively. The Hazard quotients presented in the study were all below 1, indicating no significant risk associated with the consumption of Fante kenkey containing Bisphenol A. Margin of exposure values were also above 10,000 indicating a low public health concern. Though the population under study is at no significant risks, producers of Fante kenkey must be encouraged to desist from the use of plastic films as a packaging material.

1.1 Background to the study
As indicated by Russian chemist Aleksandr Dianin, Bisphenol was discovered in 1891. It has been utilized since the 1950s to solidify polycarbonate plastic and make epoxy pitch, which is contained in the covering of sustenance and refreshment containers (Rogers, 2013). Bisphenol A (BPA) is a member of the diphenyl methane derivatives; it is an exhausting crystalline solid that is soluble in natural solvents, however inadequately soluble in water (Niu ,2015) and commercially utilized in 1957.

BPA is used to manufacture plastics and epoxy gums. BPA-based plastic is clear and extreme and is made into an assortment of regular customer merchandise, for example, infant and water bottles, food storage containers, power fittings, and vehicle spare parts. In Ghana, plastics are used in the packaging of food including Fante kenkey, porridge, banku, rice etc. According to Pivnenko et al. (2015), epoxy tars including BPA are utilized as lining and coatings within numerous food and beverage cans. In 2015, a 4 million tons’ value of BPA synthetic were produced for assembling polycarbonate plastics (French Constitutional Council, 2015) which was used in the manufacturing of games gear, restorative and dental contraptions, compact discs, family unit hardware, eyeglass focal points, foundry castings, and the coating of water funnels.

Fante kenkey or ‘Dorkuno’ is a staple Ghanaian local dish which is similar to sourdough dumpling. It is packaged in transparent plastic film and plantain leaves. Fante kenkey is usually served with stew, soup or pepper sauce and fried fish. The Fante kenkey is normally prepared at a boiling temperature of 65°C (125°F). This high temperature is likely to enhance migration of Bisphenol A from the transparent plastic film. Moreover, BPA displays estrogen impersonating, hormone-like properties that increase concern over its presence in food containers and Fante kenkey. Many government institutions have investigated the safety of BPA since 2008; which made a few avoid the use of polycarbonate items (CERHR, 2007).

In Ghana, a study conducted by Mensah (2013) showed that Fante kenkey wrapped in polyethylene films preceding cooking exposes the kenkey to possible contamination with Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates. The author added that these chemicals leach from the polyethylene into the Fante kenkey as polyethylene was not intended for boiling temperature. Similarly, in Ghana, Ayiku (2013) reported that though the pellets utilized for the manufacture of the polyethylene films are food grade, these polyethylene films are meant for packaging of food under normal room temperature only and not for cooking. He further indicated that massive education on the risk of cooking food wrapped in polyethylene films and the need to utilize plantain leaves only in packaging the kenkey was ongoing among kenkey processors and sellers.

The US Government in 2006 supported an evaluation of scientific literature on BPA. At the end of the survey, according to Vom Saal et al. (2007), which was conducted by thirty-eight specialists in fields (Bisphenol A) concluded that, BPA at concentrations found in the human body is related with organic changes in prostate, breast, testis, mammary glands, body size, brain structure and chemistry. Vogel (2009) also came out with similar findings in the behavior of laboratory animals. The results further expressed that the normal BPA levels in humans were higher than those that cause damage to various creatures in research centers. Ghana government however has no known sponsored studies in BPA.

1.2 Problem Statement and Justification
The consumption of Fante kenkey is increasing in recent years. In the preparation of this meal the sourdough dumpling is wrapped in plastic flexible films before final packaging with the plantain leaves. The packaged par boiled dough is then boiled for about 2 hours to produce kenkey. This condition of boiling is likely to cause the leaching of BPA from plastics into the kenkey. There is enough data in literature which support the leaching of bisphenol a into packaged food products. However little data exist for the levels of BPA in the prepared fante kenkey. Hence the exposure levels and associated risk have not been quantified as this data will assist in the regulation of plastic film packaged fante kenkey by the right authorities concern. There is therefore the need to assess the levels of BPA in fante kenkey and consequently the risks associated with its consumption by consumers.

1.3 Main Objective
The general objective is to determine the toxicological safety limit of BPA in plastic film packaged fante kenkey.

Specifically, the study sought to:

Determine the levels of Bisphenol A in plastic film packaged fante kenkey.

Assess the dietary exposure and risk due to Bisphenol A in plastic film packaged fante kenkey.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 56 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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