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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • The cassava, manioc, casava, or yuca  is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) native to South America that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates.
  • Cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrates for human food in the world.
  • Cassava roots are very rich in starch, and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g).

Growth and Cultivation

  • The plant grows tall, sometimes reaching 15 feet, with leaves varying in shape and size. The edible parts are the tuberous root and leaves. The tuber (root) is somewhat dark brown in color and grows up to 2 feet long.
  • Cassava is harvested by hand by raising the lower part of stem and pulling the roots out of the ground, then removing them from the base of the plant .
  • Cassava is propagated by cutting the stem into sections of approximately 30 cm (1 foot), these being planted prior to the wet season.
  • Most cassava is harvested by hand, lifting the lower part of stem and pulling the roots out of the ground, then removing them from the base of the plant by hand.

Processing

  • Stages in traditional Cassava Processing are : Harvesting and transportation of roots, Root preparation (peeling, Slicing), Size Reduction, Drying, Fermentation of Cassava, Cyanogen removal during processing.
  • Cassava roots are generally peeled before processing.
  • Fermentation is an important processing technology for Cassava , especially in Africa.

Uses

  • Cubans commonly use cassava to treat irritable bowel syndrome, the paste is eaten in excess during treatment.
  • The leaves are used to treat hypertension, headache, and pain.
  • In Indonesia, cassava is used in a variety of food products, the same way potatoes are used in the U.S. They can be used as vegetables in dishes, grated to make pancakes, dried and ground into tapioca flour, or sliced and made into snack chips.
  • Cassava is grown for its enlarged starch-filled roots, which contains nearly the maximum theoretical concentration of starch on a dry weight basis among food crops.
  • Industrial uses where cassava is used in the processing procedures or manufacture of products include paper-making, textiles, adhesives, high fructose syrup and alcohol.

Market

  • The largest producer of cassava is Brazil, followed by Thailand, Nigeria, Zaire and Indonesia.
  • Production in Africa and Asia continues to increase, while that in Latin America has remained relatively level over the past 30 years.
  • Thailand is the main exporter of cassava with most of it going to Europe.
  • Industrial uses where cassava is used in the processing procedures or manufacture of products include paper-making, textiles, adhesives, high fructose syrup and alcohol.

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