Processing techniques to reduce toxicity and antinutrients of cassava for use as a staple food. (2024)

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Abstract

Cassava is a valuable source of food for developing countries, but it contains highly toxic cyanogen compounds and antinutrients. Cyanogens are found in 3 forms in cassava: cyanogenic glucoside (95% linamarin and 5% lotaustratin), cyanohydrins, and free cyanide. Different processing techniques exist to remove cyanogens and their effectiveness depends on the processing steps and the sequence utilized, and it often is time-dependent. Pounding or crushing is the most effective for cyanogenic glucoside removal because it ruptures cell compartments, thus allowing direct contact between linamarin and the enzyme linamarase that catalyzes the hydrolytic breakdown. Crushing and sun-drying cassava roots made into flour removes 96% to 99% of total cyanogens, whereas soaking and sun-drying into lafun or fufu, or soaking and fermenting and roasting into gari or farina, removes about 98% of cyanogens. For cassava leaves, which have 10 times more cyanogens than roots, pounding and boiling in water is an efficient process to remove about 99% of cyanogens. Other strategies to reduce toxicity include development of low-cyanogen cassava varieties and cassava transgenic lines with accelerated cyanogenesis during processing. Although phytate and polyphenols have antioxidant properties, they interfere with digestion and uptake of nutrients. Fermentation and oven-drying are efficient processing methods to remove phytate (85.6%) and polyphenols (52%), respectively, from cassava roots. Sun-drying the leaves, with or without prior steaming or shredding, removes about 60% phytate. Cassava is a nutritionally strategic famine crop for developing countries and, therefore, reducing its toxicity and improving its nutritional value is crucial.

Citation

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (2009) 8 (1) 17-27 [doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2008.00064.x]

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Processing techniques to reduce toxicity and antinutrients of cassava for use as a staple food.

Published 1 January 2009

Contents
Processing techniques to reduce toxicity and antinutrients of cassava for use as a staple food. (2024)

FAQs

Processing techniques to reduce toxicity and antinutrients of cassava for use as a staple food.? ›

Fermentation and oven-drying are efficient processing methods to remove phytate (85.6%) and polyphenols (52%), respectively, from cassava roots. Sun-drying the leaves, with or without prior steaming or shredding, removes about 60% phytate.

What are the ways of reducing the toxic substance in cassava? ›

During the various stages of gari manufacture, 80 to 95% cyanide loss occurs. The best processing method for the use of cassava leaves as human food is pounding the leaves and cooking the mash in water. Fermentation, boiling, and ensiling are efficient techniques for removing cyanide from cassava peels.

What is the processing method needed to remove toxic components in cassava roots? ›

Cassava tubers are traditionally processed by a wide range of methods, which reduce their toxicity, improve palatability and convert the perishable fresh root into stable products. These methods consist of different combinations of peeling, chopping, grating, soaking, drying, boiling and fermenting.

How is toxin removed from cassava? ›

One of the traditional ways to prepare bitter cassava roots is by first peeling and grating the roots, and then prolonged soaking of the gratings in water to allow leaching and fermentation to take place, followed by thorough cooking to release the volatile hydrogen cyanide gas.

What are the antinutrients in cassava? ›

Cassava: The Nature and Uses

Antinutrients are compounds typically found in crop plants that interfere with nutrient absorption by the human body. Cyanogenic glycosides are the most important antinutrient in cassava. They have an important role for plants to deter herbivory and resist pests and diseases.

What processing techniques to reduce toxicity and antinutrients of cassava for use as a staple food? ›

Fermentation and oven-drying are efficient processing methods to remove phytate (85.6%) and polyphenols (52%), respectively, from cassava roots. Sun-drying the leaves, with or without prior steaming or shredding, removes about 60% phytate.

What is the best method of preserving cassava? ›

The highly perishable nature of the cassava limits its use as a fresh staple food, as its roots deteriorate very rapidly after about two or three days (Booth, 1973; Beeching, et. al., 2002). Cassava is usually processed into dried products to extend its shelf life.

What are the methods of processing cassava? ›

Processing of cassava for food involves combinations of fermentation, drying, and cooking. Fermentation is an important method common in most processings.

How do you process raw cassava? ›

  1. Step 1: Peeling and washing.
  2. Step 2: Grating roots into mash.
  3. Step 3: De-watering and fermenting mash into wet cake.
  4. Step 4: Sieving wet cake into grits and roasting grits into gari 16.
  5. Step 5: Bagging and storing the gari.

Does soaking cassava remove cyanide? ›

People should not eat cassava raw, because it contains naturally occurring forms of cyanide, which are toxic to ingest. Soaking and cooking cassava makes these compounds harmless. Eating raw or incorrectly prepared cassava can lead to severe side effects.

What is the toxicity in cassava due to? ›

Cassava, an edible tuberous root often made into flour, contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can result in fatal cyanide poisoning if not properly detoxified by soaking, drying, and scraping before being consumed. Acute cassava-associated cyanide poisoning outbreaks are rarely described.

How to remove bitter taste from cassava? ›

I tried soaking it in water for 48hrs. kinda lessen but i'm not satisfied. Tried again with water and salt sol'n didn't really remove it, Grated and rinsed with water, it worked but significantly remove that "cassava" taste. (Though it still has a bitterness hint with it).

How do you remove antinutrients from grains? ›

Milling is the most commonly used method to remove phytic acid from grains. This technique removes the phytic acid but also has major disadvantages as it also removes major parts of minerals and dietary fibers. Soaking is widely applied and most important method in germination and fermentation process of cereals.

How to reduce cyanide in food? ›

Cyanide can be removed by several processes before consumption. Methods such as peeling, washing, heating, drying, fermenting and chemical treatment are used to remove or reduce cyanide.

How do you process cassava roots to remove cyanogens? ›

The roots are then sun dried, pounded and sieved, producing a white grey flour. This method removes twice as much cyanogen as sun drying and is used by women processors in northern Mozambique when cyanide levels are high during drought [15] . ...

What must be removed from cassava to make it safe to eat? ›

Food products: There are hydrocyanic glucosides (HCN) in all parts of the plant; these glucosides are removed by peeling the roots and boiling in water.

How do you manage cassava? ›

After harvest, destroy discarded stems and roots that have disease symptoms or pest contamination. Use natural enemies against cassava pests as much as possible. Complement by applying appropriate pesticides as necessary. Weed the field regularly.

What is the toxic substance in cassava meal? ›

Raw cassava contains cyanide, which is toxic to ingest, so it is vital to prepare it correctly. Also, there are two types of cassava: sweet and bitter. Bitter cassava is hardier but has a much higher cyanide content. Most of the cassava used in the United States is sweet.

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