Points to kept in mind when selecting/ purchasing some food commodities
Fruits and vegetables: High quality fruits and vegetables are the ones that are ripe, crisp, fine and free from bruises. Nutrients values of fruits and vegetables decrease over a period therefore Theyshouldbe purchased when fresh. Vegetables will usually wither when kept in the sun or kept for too long.
Starchy roots and plantain: These foods form the staple food in many areas. They are relatively cheap but do not have good keeping quality. They can be used for a variety of food products. They are sold in fresh or dried and powdered forms. Examples of such foods are plantain cassava, yam, cocoyam, water yam, potato and taro.When purchasing these foods care must be taken so that only good quality foods are bought. Roots should be free from bruises since this would make them rot quickly. They must be firm to touch. Softness in roots is a sign of spoilage. They must not start sprouting. Ripped plantain should not have black spots on the skin.
Animal and animal products: Foods in this group are very expensive and they spoil very quickly. The most expensive animal foods are not necessarily the most nutritious. Ifresource are limited can still get good quality protein from cheap sources such as snails, crabs, sprats and anchovies. Bone in beef is just as nutritious as bone less beef.When buying animal foods, quality and safety are very important consideration. The quality of animal products can be assessed as follows:-
Meat should have a deep red colour with white or creamy fat.
Signs of poor quality are very dark brown or green colour and yellow fat.
When the meat is greenish and smells bad it is of poor quality and not safe for eating.
Poultry should have a meaty body with meaty legs and breasts.
The skin should not have any discoloration Fish should have firm flesh and shiny skin with a lot of tightly clinging scales.
It must have bright and clear eyes and red shiny gills.
Disagreeable colour, flesh that leaves a dent when pressed and dry skin are signs of spoilage.
Eggs: Eggs may have white or brown shells. The nutritive value is the same. Eggs can be bought fresh or dried. When buying eggs, look for shells that are rough and not shiny. Test for freshness by putting it in a jar of salt water. When it floats the eggs is stale. Buy eggs that are clean and not cracked.
Milk: Milk is sold in liquid or powdered form. The choice will depend on the purpose intendant to use it for and the storage facility available. Milk can be bought fresh. Its keeping quality is not good especially outside the refrigerator. When a milk tin is opened and used the remaining milk should be poured out of the tin and kept in the refrigerator or a cool dry place, well covered.
Legumes Legumes include groundnuts, cowpeas and soya beans. Legumes are sold shelled or unshelled.When buying legumes one must buy the ones that are not infested with weevils. Also they must not be mouldy. It is better to make fresh groundnut paste than to buy from the market. Often groundnut paste is adulterated before it is sold in the market.
Cereals Cereals are normally sold in grains or in powdered form.When buying cereals avoid the ones that have weevils or have grown moulds.Mouldy cereals are not good for consumption. Inspect for colour, size and uniformity of grain and freedom from contamination, foreign matter and infestation. Coal-tar dyes, mineral oil and lathyrussativus are common adulterants to be guarded against.
Spices Should be selected whole as for as possible. Size, colour ,shape and freedom from contamination, foreign matter and infestation should be considered. The ground spices should selected based on the certification mark
Fats and Oils: Reputed brands can selected rather than loose oils which have a chances of contamination