Uses of Cassava
Cassava is known by various names in Nigeria. To mention a few, the plant is called akpu by Igbos’, ege by Yorubas’, igari by Ikas’, rogo by Hausas’, ijiakpu by Olukwumis’, midaka by Urohbos’, iwa by Anags’/Ibibios’, okponkoro by Ijaws’, and bobozi by Ishans’.
Nutritionally, cassava contains potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin A, folic acid, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and protein.
Cassava is applicable in many types of products such as food, confectionery, sweeteners, glues, plywood, textiles, paper, biodegradable products, monosodium glutamate, and drugs. Cassava chips and pellets are used in animal feed and alcohol production.
High quality cassava flour
Cassava chips are an alternative source of raw material for producing liquor as well as medical and industrial alcohol.
Cassava roots can be processed into chips and pellets which can be used in compounding animal feed for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and farmed fish. The cassava leaves are also a good source of feed for livestock.
Cassava is used widely in Nigeria as food. It is mostly consumed in the form of gari, fufu, tapioca, starch, kpokpogari, and lafun. In the northern part of the country it is eaten raw as a snack. Cassava flour is majorly used in bakery products and cassava starch can be used as a general thickening agent. Modified cassava starch or starch derivatives have been applied for thickening, binding, texturing and stabilizing a range of food products such as canned foods, frozen foods, salad dressings, sauces, and infant foods.
Modified cassava starch or starch derivatives are used in confectionery for different purposes such as thickening and glazing. Cassava starches are widely used in swests such as jellys and gums.
Cassava starch is a common source for making monosodium glutamate in Asia. It is used to enhance flavor in food, e.g., Ajinomoto.
Glucose and fructose made from cassava starch are used as substitutes for sucrose in jams and canned fruits. Cassava-based sweeteners are preferred in beverage formulations for their improved processing characteristics and product enhancing properties.
Native and modified cassava starches are used as binders, fillers, and disintegrating agents for tablet production.
Cassava starch is a very important raw material in making glue. Cassava starch–based dextrates are excellent adhesives and are used in many applications including pre-gummed papers, tapes, labels, stamps, and envelopes.
Cassava starch can be used as a biodegradable polymer to replace plastics in packaging materials.
Glue made from cassava starch is a key material in plywood manufacturing. The quality of plywood depends heavily on the glue that is used.
Modified cassava starch is used in the wet stage of paper making to flocculate the pulp, improving run rate and reducing pulp loss. Native and modified cassava starches are also used in the coding and sizing of paper, improving the strength, binding codings to the paper, and controlling ink consumption to improve print quality.
Cassava starch is used in three stages of textile processing: to size the yarn to stiffen and protect it during weaving, to improve color consistency during printing, and to make the fabric durable and shining at finishing.