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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) |Volume VII, Issue XII, December 2022|ISSN 2454-6194

Analysis of Chemical Composition of Three Variants of Potash in North Central Nigeria: Implication on Public Health and Attainment of SDG No. 3

Dr Amos Bulus Cirfat, Dr.Zipporah Pewat Duguryil, Dr. Henry David Katniyon*
Department of Biology, Chemistry and Early Childhood, Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Despite the relevance and use of potash for cooking various types of food over a long period of time in north central Nigeria, a serious gap exist in the non-analysis north central Nigeria. There has been a worrisome trend of increase in carcinogenic ailments in Nigeria. The research analysed the chemical components of three types of potash variants: red (Jan kanwa), white (Farin Kanwa) and Brown (Tokan Sanyi) potash. The samples were analysed for presence or otherwise of some heavy metals (Lead (Pb) Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Nickel (Ni)). Three samples of potash were obtained from Benue, Nassarawa and Plateau states. The metals were analysed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAAS). The results were compared with the World Health Organisation standard. The three samples were subjected to digestion and qualitative and quantitative analysis carried out on them. Ions tested for in the qualitative analysis include: Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, and CO32. Percentage purity of the samples were also calculated. From the analysis the alkali concentration of red, white and brown potash was found to be 0.344, 0.272 and 0.795 moldm3 respectively. Their percentage purity was found to be 38.53, 30.46 and 89.04% respectively. The concentration of lead in the three samples (Red = 0.156, white = 0.076 and Brown 0.058 mg/L) These are higher than the WHO standard of 0.05mg/L. The concentration of Fe for the three samples of potash was (red = 4.192, white = 31.329 and Brown = 2.072). This was found to be well above the WHO standard of 1.0mg/L useful: The concentration of Mn in the three samples were found to be (red=ND, white = 0.118, brown =ND). The Ni was not detected in all the three samples. Based on this result it was recommended among others that since potash has very high percentage impurities, there is need for its purification before consumption.

Key Words: Chemical Composition, Potash, Public Health, SDG


Must foods around north central Nigeria when cooked under normal temperature consume a lot of energy or may not get enough tendering for consumption. These food require the use of catalyst to conserve energy. The most commonly used catalyst in cooking is the potash. Potash is an inorganic chemical substance used by people in northern Nigeria for cooking almost every type of food. In north central Nigeria particularly in Benue, Nassarwa and Plateau States, there are some local foods that are always cooked using potash eg local bens, okra soup, lalo soup karkashi soup, cow leg or pomo among others. It is thus instructive to mention that almost every household in those states use potash for cooking on a