Nutritional and toxicological composition analysis of selected cassava processed products
Keywords:Cassava, cyanide, MU51, nutritional composition, toxicological content
Cassava (Manihot esculanta Crantz) is an important food source in tropical countries where it can withstand environmentally stressed conditions. Cassava and its processed products have a high demand in both local and export market of Sri Lanka. MU51 cassava variety is one of the more common varieties and boiling is the main consumption pattern of cassava among Sri Lankans. The less utilization of cassava is due to the presence of cyanide which is a toxic substance. This research was designed to analyse the nutritional composition and toxicological (cyanide) content of Cassava MU51 variety and selected processed products of cassava MU51 (boiled, starch, flour, chips, two chips varieties purchased from market) to identify the effect of processing on cassava MU51 variety. Nutritional composition was analysed by AOAC (2012) methods with modifications and cyanide content was determined following picric acid method of spectrophotometric determination. The Flesh of MU51 variety and different processed products of cassava had an average range of moisture content (3.18 - 61.94%), total fat (0.31 - 23.30%), crude fiber (0.94 - 2.15%), protein (1.67 - 3.71%) and carbohydrates (32.68 - 84.20%) and where they varied significantly in between products and the variety MU51, where no significance difference (p >0.05) observed in between MU51 flesh and processed products' ash content where it ranged (1.02 - 1.91%). However, boiled product and MU51 flesh had more similar results in their nutritional composition where they showed no significant difference at any of the nutrient that was analysed. Thus, there could be no significant effect on the nutrient composition of raw cassava once it boiled. Cyanide content of the MU51 flesh and selected products (boiled, starch, flour and chips prepared using MU51 variety), showed wide variation ranging from 4.68 mg.kg-1 to 33.92 mg.kg-1 in dry basis. But except boiled cassava all processed products had cyanide content <10 mg.kg-1, which is the safe level recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Committee of the FAO/WHO. Thus, preparing products such as flour, starch and chips using MU51 variety could be safe for human consumption.
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