Thursday, May 10, 2018
Yellow cassava winning the Vitamin A deficiency war.Yellow cassava is a new, yellow-fleshed breed of cassava making waves in Africa. The yellow root cassava are grown for their high concentrations of β-carotene a precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is a major issue, especially in Africa,and Nigeria especially has a prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency in nearly one third of children under five years old. Bio fortification of food to alleviate certain deficiencies in the past have been instituted with products such as sugar,salt,flour e.t.c. The introduction of the new variant of cassava is to stop the vitamin A deficiency is a good innovation as cassava products are stable foods in the country hence more people will be reached especially children who drink garri regularly. Garri a staple food in the country had 2 types the white and yellow forms which both originated from the normal cassava,but processed differently. The white garri is fried without palm oil while the yellow type is fried with palm oil when processing to boost its nutritional value. The advantage of the yellow cassava is that the nutritional level is already boosted,thus the garri comes out yellow saving producers the stress of adding palm oil and thus reducing the cost of production. The yellow cassava can be used to produce all the same products as the white cassava but now with a tinge of yellow. Children under five and pregnant women are mostly affected with Vitamin A deficiency which results in increase disease risk, preventable blindness,reduced immunity and death. Vitamin A deficiency is also a major cause of hidden hunger thus adults who dont eat balanced diet can also succumb to blindness and increase disease risk. The yellow cassava products such as yellow garri in combination with other ingredients can be used to make delicious foods such as cereals,snacks,soups that children will love and enjoy eating. The yellow cassava garri can used to make flakes, chocoballs,pancakes and loops.