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Cassava Gmarkets

Published in On-going Projects


Work Package 4:

 Ensuring the safety and quality of processed cassava products in market--orientated production


 Executive summary

 Cassava is one of the most important root and tuber crops, providing nourishment for more than half a billion people the world over. It derives its importance from the fact that it is a valuable source

of less costly calories, widespread and an integral contributor to food security in developing countries. The crop can grow and produce significant harvests even in environmental conditions which are inclement for most crops. World production quantity of the produce increased by more than 30 % over the period between year 2000 and 2010, with more than half of the total amount produced in Africa. Cassava is primarily grown for use as food and has over the years played an inimitable role in providing valuable calories for people of diverse socio-cultural standings. That notwithstanding, the crop has received attention as a raw material for a wide range of industrial applications including the production of bioethanol, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, plastics as well as pelletized animal feed.

 One of the drawbacks of the root crop for use as food is its potential toxicity, a phenomenon which stems from the cyanogenic glycoside content of the crop. These compounds, which naturally serve wards off insect and herbivore attack, undergo enzymatic degradation to produce HCN which is lethal at 35 - 150 µmol/kg, administered in a single dose. Sub-fatal doses over a long period have been reported to affect the nervous system and thyroid glands. HCN has also accounted for cases of reduced blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and growth retardation in children. Cyanogenic compounds have also been identified as contributing to bitterness in certain cassava varieties. Reduction of cyanogen content reduces the risk of intoxication associated with cassava consumption.

 Detoxifying cassava of cyanide presents an avenue for expanding both domestic and industrial applications. Even though contemporary interventions such as genetic engineering and breeding have been applied to generate cyanide-free varieties, traditionally, detoxification is achieved by    processing. Methods such as fermentation, cooking, drying and roasting have resulted in significant reduction of cyanide content of cassava. These techniques involve a combination of unit operations that trigger the breakdown of cyanogens by endogenous enzymes into HCN, which is subsequently evaporated (by heating) or dissolved in water (depending on the processing method under consideration). Processing has resulted in markedly lessened potency of cyanogenic glycosides in cassava, even though the reduction in toxicity depends on the starting material, and the method used and the extent of processing.

OBJECTIVE(S): To provide knowledge and technologies to allow the development of value chains linking small-holder farmers to growth markets for HQCF in the context of climate change & variability.

METHODOLOGY:  Transfer of composite flour baking technology through training workshops with the use of posters, brochures; Bank facility facilitation and search for new markets. 


1. Project Review meeting  held 

2. Field survey and data collection was undertaken in the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions

3. Establishment of the Functional properties of HQCF  has been done

4. Examination of New uses of HQCF at the laboratory scale in Ghana is yet to be completed, Specific innovations and knowledge from associates in India are to be evaluated, specifically the potential of using HQCF to make bio-plastics and snack and composite foods. Samples from India has arrived .Products are yet to be tested for their acceptability in a variety of end use markets.

5. Production processes of HQCF has been standardized as follows: sorting, peeling, washing, grating, pressing, sifting, chipping and drying 

6. Evaluation of the market potential for innovations has been carried out.

7. Non-food products such as animal feed , microbial yeast and adhesives 

8. Testing of innovative new products tested with end use industry partners have already been identified through the C: AVA project.


1. Awaiting technology of production from India for the sample products received

2. Acceptability and end use of products yet to be tested.

3. Publication of impact of climatic change on cassava value chain (post-harvest losses)


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