High quality cassava flour (HQCF) is simply unfermented cassava flour. It can be used as partial replacement for many bakery and pasta products. High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) can be used as an alternative for starch and other imported materials such as wheat flour in a variety of industries in many countries in Africa. Uses of HQCF include raw material for the production of glucose syrups, industrial alcohol and bakery products, the production of adhesives, as an extender for plywood glues and as a source of starch in textile sizing. Specifically;
- Bakery products – HQCF was used at levels of 10-35% in bakery products; popular in rural areas where consumers preferred the heavy cake like texture;
- Glucose syrups – A controlled process was developed for conversion of HQCF into sugar syrups with a range of dextrose equivalents to meet different end-user requirements using enzymes from plant seedlings;
- Industrial and potable alcohol – A system was developed for conversion of sugar syrup into ethyl alcohol for industrial or potable use;
- Adhesives – HQCF blended with soluble borax and caustic soda to produce Bauer type paperboard adhesive that could completely replace imported starch based materials. HQCF was used for complete substitution of wheat flour as an extender in urea and phenol formaldehyde resin plywood adhesives.
High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) suitable for partial substitution of wheat has been successfully produced at the Institute.
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi has demonstrated that bread and confectionaries baked with 5-40% High Quality Cassava Flour inclusion in wheat flour compared favourably with those baked with 100% wheat flour without any negative health implication.
Making High-Quality Cassava Flour
Importance and benefits of cassava
Cassava is not fully utilised in Eastern Africa compared to West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana). Cassava can earn you extra income, provide employment opportunities and serve as a reserve food in times of scarcity.
Cassava is drought tolerant, easy to grow and simple to harvest. All parts of the cassava plant are valuable. Cassava leaves can be used to make soup or as feed for livestock, the stems can be used for planting more cassava, for mushroom production or as firewood, the root can be cooked and eaten fresh or processed into flour. Cassava can also meet industrial needs such as the production of bio-fuel and starch for use in paper- and drug-making industries.
High-quality cassava flour is made within a day of harvesting the root. It is very white, has low fat content, is not sour like traditional, fermented cassava flour, does not give a bad smell or taste to food products and can mix very well with wheat flour for use in bread or cakes.
What you need to make high-quality cassava flour
To establish a small-scale enterprise to make high-quality cassava flour, you require:
• space for processing the cassava
• a store
• a facility for safe disposal of waste materials
• cassava roots
• processing equipment (knife, bowl, drying platform, grater, press and milling machine)
• trained machine operators along with casual workers for peeling, washing, grating, pressing,drying, milling, sifting and packing.
You may be able to hire a press and grater locally. Local fabricators of processing equipment are also available in some areas – ask your local extension officer or agricultural research station.
Accessible markets include bakeries, millers and paper industries, schools, hospitals, shops, kiosks, hotels, restaurants and local famine relief agencies.
How to make high-quality cassava flour
Step 1: Selecting roots: Harvest or buy healthy, mature, firm,freshly harvested cassava roots. These should have no bruises. The flesh of the roots should be white with no cracking and few fibrous roots.
Step 2: Peeling: Peel the roots and remove the stalk, woody tips and any fibrous roots using a sharp knife. Failure to peel properly will result in off-colour in the final product. Cassava peel (after drying) can be used for animal feed or composting – so donot waste it!
Step 3: Washing:n Wash peeled cassava roots with clean water to remove any dirt, including sand, soil, leaves or other impurities.
Step 4: Grating: Use a simple perforated iron sheet or mechanical grater to grate cassava roots into a fine mash.
Step 5: Pressing: Pack the grated cassava mash into a clean bag, such as a jute or sisal sack that will allow extra water to escape. Press the sack using a screw press or hydraulic jack to remove excess water until the cassava is crumbly.