A happy diabetic

By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)

 Khartoum, ( sudanow.info.sd)—The doctor’s eyes were bathed in tears when a mother told him she was happy when he had told her, after several tests, that she is afflicted with diabetes.

The reason, the patient, Nawal Hussein, a mother in her early 50s, told the doctor that her youngest son was afflicted with diabetes a few years ago and that she was deeply sad and pitifully watched his condition. She said she wished it was she who had contracted this disease that had deeply affected his childhood. “Now I can share him some of his taboos and his suffering,” the mother said.   

She said was not aware of the reasons that made her son become a diabetic, which could be numerous, but she was well aware that he was a ravenous eater of chips of all flavors.

During the past decade of 2000-2011 and in Khartoum State alone 16 factories were set up to produce potato chips and maize balls, according to reports of the federal Ministry of Industry.

Seven of these 16 factories are in Omdurman which is populated by more than five million people, five factories in Khartoum proper and four others in Khartoum North. Those 16 factories each day produce tons of light and fast-eating nibbles likeable to both children and adults.

 Unpublished grave studies:

A non-organic industrial specialist warned that potato chips and slices and other pastime nibbles could cause rave diseases that could afflict people and the risk could be higher for children who eat them voraciously.

Al-Migdad Ahmed Ali, the Scientific Affairs Secretary and Lecturer of Non-organic and Industrial Chemistry Section at the Sudan University for Science and Technology, said the Section is currently conducting studies and research on the multiple usage of food oils for frying those chips and other foods proved to be dangerous and damaging to the human health. The results of those studies will be announced in the near future for warning the public against the dangers of these foods, he said.

The oils in which the chips are fried are unidentifiable in many cases and could have been used several times, a thing that could result in formation of what is known as “free fissures” which are active chemical substances that could cause cancer and kidney failure.

Most of the flavors added to these foods are unnatural and lead to formation of organic salts vulnerable to humidity and light and take the form of chemical agents that cause numerous health problems, the specialist said.

He added that those foods are often stored in inappropriate conditions under which the humidity and light cause decomposition, rottenness and arsenate formations. This is particularly risky to children who do not pay attention to the date of expiry of these foods.   

 Food researchers, not supervisors:

Ali said, as researchers, they visit the factories to examine the methods applied in producing foods but they are frequently faced with many difficulties placed by the operators of those food factories who take the researchers for health supervisors who are launching a crackdown to check the safety of foods, possibly withdrawing their licenses.

The specialist said even if such foods conform to the safety specifications and standards children should not be allowed to eat much of them because, he went on, children need a great deal of proteins, to build their bodies and b rains, and they should take less carbohydrates.   

The associate lecturer in the food science and technology at the faculty of agricultural studies in the Sudan University, Professor Ahmed al-Awad al-Fakki, says that food which can be of benefit to the human being, if proper and accurate methods of its preparation during the different stages of its production, starting from its cultivation till its delivery to the consumer, will be liable to harmful microbial contamination or chemical substances either found as part of the food or added to it intentionally or unintentionally or due to the manufacturing method. This occurs as a result of using some plants which contain poisons either natural or produced by some microbes in the foods, including potato. All these cases make man vulnerable to these microbes and poisons.

Potato is nutritious, but:


The Professor says potato is generally among the important sources of chips and despite the fact that it contains numerous nutritious substances compared with other similar vegetables, and in particular because it contains proteins, fibres, fats and minerals, it also contains poisonous chemical substances, including solanine and cachonine in or immediately beneath the nodule, particularly in the green part of the nodule and for this reason, before it is cooked, the potato must be stored in a dark and cold area so that those poisonous substances are not formed.

The green parts of the potato must be removed before cooking and previously used oil must not be used because this could produce oxidized substances that could cause different kinds of cancer.

He also warned against eating increased quantities of this foodstuff because it causes obesity which in turn leads to heart diseases and diabetes. Refraining from eating a lot of chips also averts harmful chemicals which could have been formed during preparation of the food and, moreover, the dates of production and expiry must be verified.

The Professor remarks that contemporary life style made people tend to eat such light and fast foods, a matter which makes it incumbent to conduct increased research on these foods to determine their adverse effects and the safe quantities to be eaten and the daily consumption, especially by youngsters and children.

Destructive Conservatives:

Professor Fakki said that numerous chemical additives and colours are added to food for different purposes either for conservation or for giving it a special colour or flavor or an attractive shape. Moreover, pesticides and insecticides are used in the farm to fight insects and weeds. All these additives are very dangerous as they accumulate inside the human body and cause different kinds of canter either in the long- or short-term, depending on the consumed quantity and the body resistance.

The Professor said the international board for food constitution limited specific quantities of these chemical additives which, if increased, might be extremely harmful. For instance, the potassium bromide which is added to bread to give a certain shape but is added in an unsafe quantity, despite the rules and general control and was therefore regarded in the Sudan as unsafe and risky and its use was prohibited by law.  

He added that there is no precise research on the danger of these substances but experiments on some rodents showed that the some colours which are added to food stir cancerous activity but not of levels.

 Unknown and unregistered colours and flavors:

Most of the conservatives and colours added to food, according Dr. Ahmed, are industrialized chemical compounds not registered with the international board for food constitution. Even for the registered substances, there is firm proof of their safety and a heated dispute is ongoing among the scientists on whether or not these substances are cancerous and until now no scientific research has been made to resolve this dispute. The main reason for continuity of this dispute is failure by the science to determine the causes of cancer, whether it is chemical or environmental, due to the air or caused by micro-organisms that form within the body and pose a threat to it as a result of poisonous compounds they excrete or due to the interactions those organisms made within the body.

All chemical flavors, conservatives and colours are industrialized chemical compounds that incur chemical, photic interactions due to their high sensitivity to heat, humidity and light, making them to form several compounds that, in turn, interact and shatter into particles, materials and unknown formations that all lead to dangers that still remain unknown to the scientists.

The Professor went on to say that the body organs, which are the kidney, liver resistance system responsible for handling may not be able to resist those continuous chemical interactions and are liable to early fatigue, permitting appearance of lethal diseases which have of late spread on a wide scale, including kidney failure, liver, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer diseases.

 Grave Infections Requiring Research:

Paediatrician Amal Hussein says that there is growing number of children infected with cancer, diabetes, kidney failure and other renal diseases compared with the situation 10 years ago.

The specialist, who works in Jebel Awlia Hospital, south of Khartoum, said the infection increased by more than 50%, but there is no precise scientific research that reveals the reasons and soaring rates of infection. There are only observations or research that could not be trusted by 100%, she said. “We are still in bad need for a reliable research that identifies the causes of this rising rate of infection,” the Paediatrician said.



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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