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Nutritional composition of “gari” analog produced from cassava (Manihot esculenta)
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is to African villager farmers as rice is to the Asian farmer, or potato and wheat are to European farmers (Montagnac et al. 2009). It has so many names aside from cassava, such as manioc, mandoica, and it is the most important food in terms of carbohydrates (Ojo and Akande 2013). Cassava is eaten daily in various forms such asgari, fufu, and tapioca (Okechukwu and Okoye 2010).Gari is a lactic acid–fermented product of cassava root that can be processed with palm oil rich in carotenoid (“yellow gar”) or without palm oil. In Nigeria,gari is widely acceptable and consumed by both the poor, the middle men or average Nigerian, and also the rich because it serves as a major source of carbohydrate.Gari can be taken in various forms; some people use it to makeeba or soak inside water along with groundnut, mashed beans, or bean cake (akara). The major problem of consuminggari is the toxicity which may arise from poor processing of cassava which is rich in cyanogenic glucosides. Consumption of cyanide and its accumulation in human body normally lead to neurological disorders and goiter (Ojo and Akande 2013). Cyanide has been found to be greatly reduced during the processing of cassava togari. Unit operation such as peeling, washing, grating, fermentation, dewatering, and roasting have been found to effectively reduce the residual cyanide contents of the product (Ojo and Akande 2013). Chijioke et al. (2010) reported that the traditional method ofgari production which requires the cassava slurry to be fermented for 72 h during which the cyanides (linamarin and lotaustralin) are hydrolyzed by linamarase enzyme to yield hydrocyanic acid which has low boiling point and easily escape during roasting render thegari safe for consumption. Cutting corners by so many processors for the sake of profit has led to production ofgari with excess cyanide content (Ojo and Akande 2013). Cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) belongs to Araceae family and constitutes one of the six most important roots and tuber crops worldwide (Ndabikunze et al. 2011). Nigeria, Ghana, Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar, China, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand account for the production of 8.3 million tons of cocoyam per year (FAO 1998). Cocoyam is mainly cultivated by small-scale farmers in most African countries (Ndabikunze et al. 2011). Like other members of Araceae family, it grows from the fleshy tuber, which is used majorly for food, and it supplies digestible starch, substantial amount of protein, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and significant amount of dietary fiber that is richer than cassava tuber (Niba 2003). The production of cocoyam is low when compared with other roots and tuber in Nigeria (Aderolu et al. 2009). In spite of its importance as a staple food in many countries, cocoyam has received very poor research attention to enhance its utility and production (Watanabe 2002). Despite the nutritional composition of digestible starch of 98.8% and its richness in sulfur amino acid, the potential for the development of value-added cocoyam products has not been exploited (Palapala et al. 2005; Ndabikunze et al. 2011). Promotion and supporting the use of cocoyam can make a major contribution to the food security of the countries where cocoyam is being cultivated. Hence, this study aimed at producing “gari” using cassava and cocoyam tubers to increase the utilization of cocoyam and to analyze the physicochemical properties of “gari.”Go to:

Proximate composition of the “gari” samples for moisture, ash, fat, and protein contents were determined using Association of Official Analytical Chemists (2005) methods. Total carbohydrate content was determined by subtracting the ash, protein, and fat percentages from 100%.Swelling capacity was determined by modification of the Lin and Zayas (1987) method. Each sample (2 g) was dispersed in 40 mL distilled water. The resultant slurry was heated at a temperature of 70°C for 30 min in a water bath, cooled to room temperature, and centrifuged at 598g for 30 min. The supernatant liquid was decanted and the centrifuge tube was dried for 25 min at 50°C inside a hot air oven. The residue was weighed (W2). The centrifuge tube containing the sample alone was weighed prior to adding distilled water (W1).
The mean values of the mineral composition ofgari analog produced from cassava and cocoyam are shown in Table​Table3.3. Calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous were tested. For all the samples, sample A which serves as the control (100% cassavagari) exhibited the least value of all the minerals. Sample F (100% cocoyamgari) exhibited the highest value. This may be due to the fact that cocoyam is richer in mineral composition than cassava. Potassium was the most abundant mineral with values ranging between 0.28 mg/100 g in sample A and 69.84 mg/100 g in sample F. Magnesium was the next abundant mineral with values ranging between 1.30 mg/100 g for sample A and 46.17 mg/100 g in sample F. The samples were very low in iron with sample F still leading with 7.89 mg/100 g and sample A with the least (0.17 mg/100 g). The value of phosphorus of all the samples was quite higher than that of calcium. The result is an indication of usefulness of cocoyam in increasing the mineral composition of food. Cocoyam can be considered a good source of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. This result is consistent with the findings of Lewu et al. (2010).
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