Effect of traditional storage methods and periods on cassava roots (Manihot Esculentus,Crantz) on the yield and nutritional composition of unfermented flour

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May, 2016
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Cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz), has attained considerable importance as a dominant staple food as well as an industrial raw material at a global level due to its numerous uses of the starch-rich roots. Several traditional storage methods have been devised for cassava roots due to the physiological deterioration that set in 2-3 days after harvesting, followed by microbial deterioration 3-5 days thereafter. However, the adoption level of these methods in general has been very low. It is therefore imperative to consistently investigate the appropriateness of some traditional storage methods of cassava roots meant for unfermented flour production. This study was, therefore conducted at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Enchi, Ghana, to determine the effect of different traditional storage methods and periods of cassava roots on the yield and nutritional composition of unfermented flour. Flesh cassava root of 10 kg each were arranged in woven polypropylene bags, plastic containers, trenches and wooden boxes and stored for 0, 7 and 14 days. The flour produced was analysed for proximate, minerals (calcium, iron and phosphorus), and percentage yield at the Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. This study revealed a varying impact of storage methods over the storage days. The flour produced from plastic container on storage Day 7 showed significantly (p =0.01) the least (6.56%) moisture content, and it is the method of choice. Plastic container method on storage Day 14 also showed appreciable levels of calcium and iron contents of flour as 0.165 g/100g and 35.55 mg/kg, respectively. The root stored in trench recorded the highest flour yield of 19.17% and 18.17% after 7 and 14 days of storage, respectively. This was significantly lower than the flour yield produced on storage Day 0 as 22.2%. It could, therefore, be inferred from this study that, for best results, in flour yield and nutrients, storage of fresh cassava roots for cassava flour should not exceed 7 days in plastic container.
A thesis submitted to the School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy (Mphil. Postharvest Technology) Degree