Lethal cyanide present in cassava

Cassava based mostly merchandise are establishing a growing foothold in the Australian well being meals market, nevertheless, new analysis reveals that some imported merchandise comprise harmful levels of the poison cyanide.

A staple meals for around 800 million folks, the root of the cassava plant, when not correctly processed, accommodates cyanide, which might cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, weak spot and death.

New analysis carried out by Asssociate Professor Ros Gleadow, Dr Anna Burns and Dr Timothy Cavagnaro of Monash University’s College of Organic Sciences, along with Dr J. Howard Bradbury from the Australian Nationwide University, examined the cyanide content of a number of merchandise presently obtainable in Melbourne and Canberra.

The testing occurred both earlier than and after the introduction by Meals Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) of a really helpful cyanide restrict of ten parts per million.

Affiliate Professor Gleadow stated the outcomes indicated that while highly processed merchandise and those manufactured in Australia since January 2011 adhered to food safety standards, some imported products contained comparatively high levels of the poison.

“Probably the most alarming instance of this trend is 262 ppm in a single brand of cassava chips. A baby weighing 20 kg would wish to eat 40g to 270g of these chips to succeed in the deadly dose - doubtlessly that’s only one bag of chips.

“The protection requirements are having a positive effect, nevertheless it’s not clear that there’s any testing or enforcement occurring, which is worrying. We would advocate the introduction of proper labelling and enforcement of the safety standards.”

Professor Gleadow mentioned that because cassava-based mostly meals was not extensively consumed in Australia, it was not perceived as a risk.

“If you happen to look to African and Asian nations, where cassava is a big a part of folks’s diets, the risks of consuming large quantities of the unprocessed root are clear. One of the most devastating outcomes of a monotonous cassava-primarily based food regimen is Konzo, a disease which might trigger everlasting paralysis.”

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Worth Addition Key to Cassava Revolution in Nigeria

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has stated that for the nation to spice up cassava production, it should pay extra attention than ever before to value addition.

The Director Common, IITA, Dr. Peter Hartmann, mentioned other than bettering farmers’ incomes, value addition has the ability to address the increasing degree of unemployment in Nigeria.

He spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Ibadan, Oyo State, to mark the end of the CFC-funded Cassava Worth Chain Project in Nigeria carried out by IITA and its national partners.

Hartman, who was represented by a scientist with IITA, Dr. Gbassey Tarawali, mentioned the establishment of cassava processing centres in Masaka, Lafia, and Kuje for the production of garri, fufu, cassava flour and starch is producing constructive outcomes by providing new streams of incomes to the benefiting communities.

He added that with an annual production of about 44 million tonnes of cassava, Nigeria was in the present day the world’s chief of cassava, but confused that the country was but to harness the maximum benefit from cassava attributable to inadequate processing amenities, and stated this subjects the crop to seasonal glut.

Everlasting Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Funding, Dr. Abubakar Abdullahi, mentioned worth addition to cassava would assist flip around the fortunes of farmers.

The permanent secretary stated cassava provided large alternatives that might broaden the nation’s economic viability and enhance its competitiveness notably in the non-oil sector.

“Nigeria as the largest world producer of cassava can profit immensely from this great crop if concerted efforts were made at harnessing its numerous potentials,” he mentioned,

“Let me name on all key players within the cassava industry and prospective buyers to take a cue from the cassava prototype tasks with a view to putting in standard processing crops to utilise the volume of cassava produced in the nation as a supply of income,” he said.

Nigeria’s Challenge Coordinator, Mrs. Omololu Ope-ewe, said that the approach used in the mission was to strengthen farmers, processors and entrepreneurs by means of the introduction of appropriate technologies.

“The cassava challenge was very profitable in all venture websites namely Kuje (Shabach Food), Mararaba (Joe Beg Farms) and Angwa village in Lafia, Nasarawa State. All the challenge websites got varied intervention measures including building structures, cassava processing tools, packaging materials etc. The products from the websites had been accepted by NAFDAC,” she said.

The IITA-CFC Regional Coordinator, Prof. Lateef Sanni, known as on the beneficiaries to benefit from the processing centres. He urged policymakers and the non-public sector to make the most of the untapped alternatives available within the cassava sector, especially processing.

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Stick to rising cassava for good harvests

Tanzanian farmers ought to stick to rising drought resistant crops in the event that they wish to enhance their harvests in view of world climate modifications that always lead to insufficient rainfall.The recommendation was given yesterday by the minister for Agriculture, Food Safety and Cooperatives, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, in Dar es Salaam to mark the Cassava Week.

Officiating on the launch of the exhibition held at Karimjee grounds, the minister mentioned cultivating drought resistant crops, comparable to cassava, would enable Tanzania overcome the perennial meals shortages.

“With the current world weather changes, which extra typically result in inadequate rainfall, cassava stands out as the suitable crop in most parts of the country. Improving production and productivity of the crop will, subsequently, guarantee meals security and earnings to native and international farmers and the nation,” said Prof Maghembe.

He said cassava was a drought resistant root crop, tolerant to low soil fertility and most pests. The crop can be saved underground safely and conveniently compared to other food crops, he said.Further, he went on to say, it allows for extensive flexibility in planting and harvesting time, the outcome being the potential for having a crop all the year round.

Prof Maghembe said if cassava could be grown and stored in good situations a farmer could realise 20 tonnes of cassava or more. He stated the crop contributes significantly to family food security, earnings and employment opportunities for 500 million people around the world.

“Because of being a strategic food safety crop, cassava might be among crops with high productiveness potentials that may considerably contribute to poverty discount within the country and livelihood basically, thus being a key player in fostering rural improvement,” he said.

Giving examples, he mentioned China needs 500,000 tonnes of cassava from Africa annually. Thus he suggested farmers to extend the crop’s production in order to satisfy the world market.Prof Maghembe mentioned despite its significance, production of the crop was still very low in the country, estimated at six tonnes per hectare in opposition to the potential of over 30 tonnes per hectare.

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