JIS News

Professor Gerald Lalor, Director of the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS), has been requested to conduct a study to identify the factors, which have led to the intolerable levels of the toxin, hypoglycin, in ackee for the export market.
This was announced today (February 15), by Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, in an interview with JIS News.
The Minister pointed out that the study, which would be completed in another two months, would involve several stakeholders in the industry.
This study comes against the background of the United States not allowing several cases of processed ackee into the country in December, due to the unacceptably high level of hypoglycin found in the product, and concerns expressed by the Agro Processors Association that batch-by-batch testing by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) was taking too long, causing the ackee processors to lose money.
Mr. Paulwell said that initial investigations indicated that some exporters were not adhering to prescribed regulations, noting that some processors were purchasing ackees, “where the process for ripening has not been adhered to”.