Kilishi is a popular snack in Nigeria with some health benefits and dangers.
Kilishi is packaged and sold in airports and car parks as gifts to loved ones on arrival.
In Nigeria, Kilishi is made by the Northerners. Although, in America, a similar delicacy to Kilishi is made called beef jerky.
How is it prepared? The meat is sliced into slim sheets of about one meter, dried under the sun and coated with a special paste.
What makes Kilishi really delicious is the paste (Labu) used to coat it. Labu is made of peanut or groundnut, water, different local spices like yagi, salts, onions, ginger, and cayenne pepper seeds.
Kilishi has a reputation for being unhygienically prepared, but it is really one of the healthiest snacks you can munch on.
The way Kilishi is prepared prevents it from getting spoiled on time. Kilishi is made from a technique known as curing. Cured meat is prepared by drying. It removes the moisture and water activity that prevent microbial growth.
Kilishi contains high protein and low carbohydrate content. More protein and fewer carbs will not let you pack on weight.
Salt and sodium in Kilishi help balance the fluids in your body and keep your blood pressure at a healthy rate.
The use of brown bags and newspapers also preserve the Kilishi and prevent mould and bacteria activity from affecting the meat.
Kilishi can also be harmful;
The high sodium content can lead to kidney failure and high blood pressure.
The environment where the Kilishi is prepared is also important. Sometimes, the meat surface gets contaminated during slaughtering, dressing and cutting.
During cutting and drying, it can be contaminated with non-pathogenic bacteria that cause spoilage like Coliforms and Escherichia coli and pathogenic microorganisms like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter spp and this causes food poisoning.
Hygiene during preparation might lead to some health hazards but otherwise it is healthy.