For anyone who has never chewed mirra ,doing so can be a turn off owing to the resultant effects such as stained teeth.
Others who might wish to give it a try may be kept off by the thought of carrying around bundles of twigs and leaves.
According to the standard,these two factors gave Rek East Africa Ltd CEO Maore Ithula-a communication expert and agricultural engineer a deep and lon’g thought before coining a mirra-made chewing gum.
The gum branded Marqan is set to be sold to clients above 18 years of age only.
It was manufactured by a company by the name Rek East Africa Limited.
The manufacturer says that with Marqan ,chiewing mirra has not only been made easier but also hygienic and stylish.
Ingredients. The ingredients of the chiewing gum includes gum base, oils, sugars, miraa, gum Arabica and aspartame,said the manufacturer.
The invention was guided by technical experts at the food division of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, a government agency based at South C in Nairobi.
Kenya Bureau Of Standard.
On Tuesday,The Head of Quality Assurance and Inspection at the Kenya Bureau of standard ,Mr. Bennard Nguyo said that the gum had not been issued any standardization mark by his department.
This declaration came at a time when Mr. Ithuli had announced that the gum is already in the market.
According to Nguyo,the firm did not follow the correct registration process for the product.
He added that products that contains mirra are classified as those that affect mental processes (Psychotropic ) and their manufacture and sell is controlled by the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The firm on the hand said that Kebs is just trying to assume the fact that mirra is a legal crop that is recognised by the government.
Mr. Ithuli refuted claims by KEBS that mirra was classified under narcotics or psychotropic substances.
Further he noted that like other crops ,Miraa is grown in Kenya, exported and the government recognises it and that the law recognises it as a scheduled crop.
In further denial of the claims raised by KEBS ,one of the Organisation’s official ,Sarah Gacii said that Marqan chewing gum was incubated and developed in the food technology division of Kirdi and was also linked to Kebs for certification.
She added that despite the safety concerns raised by KEBS,the gum is already retailing in Nairobi’s Eastleigh.
Eastleigh is known as one of the largest markets for mirra in Kenya.
Mr.Ithula their invention has made mirra chiewing hygienic,easy and user friendly as the chewing gum is less bulky.
He projected that with the entry of the gum to the market,new mirra consumers are going to get attracted to the herb.
Besides ,the bulk has been reduced hence ease of transportation.
Considering the Muslims’ religious faith,Rek made the product Halal by replacing gelatin, in its formulation, with Arabica gum.
Plans are also underway to come up with many mirra-based products such as mirra fudge and toffee.
The innovation of the new product has been welcomed by Nyambene Miraa Traders Association in what it termed a ray of hope for the herb’s farmers whose market has been dwindlin’g.
Through the chairperson Kimathi Munjuri,the association said that an option has been provided to other Kenyans who were not able to consume Mirra in its natural form.
Mirra is a perishable crop,something that made Several farmers incur huge loses in the past.
Effects in the body
Mirra has traditionally been used for its brain stimulation and euphoric effects.
It is also believed to be an appetite suppressant hence a remedy for obesity.
Adverse reactions to mirra may include dental, respiratory and cognitive effects.
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