African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 975

Full Length Research Paper

Cyanogenic content, moisture, and color of cassava products commonly consumed in Zambia

Madalitso Tembo
  • Madalitso Tembo
  • Food and Nutrition Sciences Laboratory, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Southern Africa, Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) Campus P. O. Box 310142, Chelstone, Lusaka 10101, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Emmanuel Oladeji Alamu
  • Emmanuel Oladeji Alamu
  • Food and Nutrition Sciences Laboratory, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Southern Africa, Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) Campus P. O. Box 310142, Chelstone, Lusaka 10101, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Albina Phoebe Bwembya
  • Albina Phoebe Bwembya
  • Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Zambia. Lusaka, Zambia.
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Chitundu Kasase
  • Chitundu Kasase
  • Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Zambia. Lusaka, Zambia.
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Emmanuel Likulunga Likulunga
  • Emmanuel Likulunga Likulunga
  • Department of Biological Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Zambia, P.0 Box 32379, Lusaka 10101, Zambia.
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David Chikoye
  • David Chikoye
  • Food and Nutrition Sciences Laboratory, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Southern Africa, Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) Campus P. O. Box 310142, Chelstone, Lusaka 10101, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 18 September 2023
  •  Accepted: 25 November 2023
  •  Published: 31 January 2024

Abstract

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important food crop in sub-Saharan Africa due to its high carbohydrate content. This study collected 102 samples of dried cassava products, including cassava flour and chips, from households, processors, open markets, and supermarkets in seven districts of Zambia. The presence of naturally occurring cyanogenic glucosides in these products poses food safety risks to consumers. The hydrogen cyanide concentration levels in cassava chips and flour ranged from 31.64 to 101.25 and 31.32 to 121.93 mg kg-1, respectively, across all study sites. Every sample tested exceeded the WHO’s recommended limit of 10 mg kg-1. The mean moisture content of cassava products ranged from 10.64 to 14.00%, with the white index (WI) varying between 112.05 and 126.86 for cassava chips and 137.87 to 146.36 for cassava flour. Despite their seemingly whiter appearance, cassava chips and flour may pose a safety risk for consumption due to their elevated hydrogen cyanide (HCN) concentration. It is advisable to implement adequate and appropriate processing methods to reduce residual cyanide in cassava products to levels that comply with established standards.

 

Key words: Cassava product, cyanogenic glucosides, moisture content, processing.