Whether it beats out the vitamin and mineral contents of white flour depends on whether or not it has been enriched or had synthetic nutrients added to it. In comparison to whole-wheat flour and common gluten-free flours, including almond, brown rice and chickpea flours, cassava doesn't fare as well.
Cassava doesn't provide any protein, but whole wheatbrown rice and chickpea flours are rich sources with between 7 to 22 grams per grams of flour. Cassava flour has more fiber than rice flour but less than whole wheat and chickpea flours. Cassava flour is lower in vitamins and minerals than enriched white flour, whole-wheat flour, chickpea flour and brown rice flour. You may have heard warnings that you should avoid cassava because it's poisonous. However, this is both true and false.
The plant does indeed contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are chemical compounds that are present in more than 2, plant species, according to the Centre for Food Safety of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
On their own, these compounds are not very harmful, but when they are broken down during digestion, they release hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic to humans and other animals. How much of these compounds cassava has depends on the type. Sweet cassava is relatively low in them, with less than 50 milligrams per kilogram, whereas bitter cassava contains significantly higher amounts — more than milligrams per kilogram.
Most commercial cassava flour has been properly processed to remove the harmful glycosides and carries no risk of cassava poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionthat involves soaking the roots in water for several days, then drying them in the sun or roasting them. After that, the outer covering is removed and the roots are ground into flour. Maize and cassava are now important staple foods, replacing native African crops in places such as Tanzania.
Cassava was introduced in C. Cooked cassava is called kappa or maricheeni in Malayalam. It is also referred to as Tapioca in Indian English usage. Other major growers were Thailand and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Cassava is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, can be successfully grown on marginal soils, and gives reasonable yields where many other crops do not grow well. These conditions are common in certain parts of Africa and South America.
Cassava, yams Dioscorea spp. The cassava plant gives the third-highest yield of carbohydrates per cultivated area among crop plants, after sugarcane and sugar beets. Its wide harvesting window allows it to act as a famine reserve and is invaluable in managing labor schedules. It offers flexibility to resource-poor farmers because it serves as either a subsistence or a cash crop. Worldwide, million people depend on cassava as their primary food staple.
In the humid and sub-humid areas of tropical Africa, it is either a primary staple food or a secondary costaple. In Ghanafor example, cassava and yams occupy an Casaba position in the agricultural economy and contribute about 46 percent of the agricultural gross domestic product.
Cassava accounts for a daily caloric intake of 30 percent in Ghana and is grown by nearly every farming family. The importance of cassava to many Africans is epitomised in the Ewe a language spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin name for the plant, agbelimeaning "there is life". Cassava is widely cultivated and eaten as a staple food in Andhra Pradesh and in Kerala.
In Assam it is an important source of carbohydrates especially for natives of hilly areas. In the subtropical region of southern China, cassava is the fifth-largest crop in term of production, after ricesweet potatosugar caneand maize. China is also the largest export market for cassava produced in Vietnam and Thailand.
Over 60 percent of cassava production in China is concentrated in a single province, Guangxiaveraging over seven million tonnes annually. Cassava-based dishes are widely consumed wherever the plant is cultivated; some have regional, national, or ethnic importance. Cassava can be cooked in many ways. The root of the sweet variety has a delicate flavor and can replace potatoes.
It is used in cholent in some households. In Brazil, detoxified manioc is ground and cooked to a dry, often hard or crunchy meal known as farofa used as a condiment, toasted in butter, or eaten alone as a side dish.
Cassava, like other foods, Casaba, also Casaba antinutritional and toxic factors. Of particular concern are the cyanogenic glucosides of cassava linamarin and lotaustralin.
On hydrolysis, these release hydrocyanic acid HCN. The concentration of these antinutritional and unsafe glycosides varies considerably between varieties and also with climatic and cultural conditions. Selection of cassava species to be grown, therefore, is quite important. Once harvested, bitter cassava must be treated and prepared properly prior to human or animal consumption, while sweet cassava can be used after simply boiling.
A comparative table shows that cassava is a good energy source. In its prepared forms, in which its toxic or unpleasant components have been reduced to acceptable levels, it contains an extremely high proportion of starch. Compared to most staples; however, cassava is a poorer dietary source of protein and most other essential nutrients. Though an important staple, its main value is as a component of a balanced diet.
Comparisons between the nutrient content of cassava and other major staple foods when raw must be interpreted with caution because most staples are not edible in such forms and many are indigestible, even dangerously poisonous or otherwise harmful.
In many countries, significant research has begun to evaluate the use of cassava as an ethanol biofuel feedstock. Under the Development Plan for Renewable Energy in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in the People's Republic of Chinathe target was to increase the production of ethanol fuel from nongrain feedstock to two million tonnes, and that of biodiesel to thousand tonnes by This is equivalent to the replacement of 10 million tonnes of petroleum.
On 22 Decemberthe largest cassava ethanol fuel production facility was completed in Beihaiwith annual output of thousand tons, which would need an average of 1. Cassava tubers and hay are used worldwide as animal feed. Cassava hay contains high protein 20—27 percent crude protein and condensed tannins 1. It is valued as a good roughage source for ruminants such as cattle. Manioc is also used in a number of commercially available laundry products, especially as starch for shirts and other garments.
Using manioc starch diluted in water and spraying it over fabrics before ironing helps stiffen collars. Cassava roots, peels and leaves should not be consumed raw because they contain two cyanogenic glucosideslinamarin and lotaustralin. These are decomposed by linamarasea naturally occurring enzyme in cassava, liberating hydrogen cyanide HCN. Cassavas grown during drought are especially high in these toxins. Symptoms of acute cyanide intoxication appear four or more hours after ingesting raw or poorly processed cassava: vertigo, vomiting, and collapse.
In some cases, death may result within one or two hours. It can be treated easily with an injection of thiosulfate which makes sulfur available for the patient's body to detoxify by converting the poisonous cyanide into thiocyanate. Severe cyanide poisoning, particularly during famines, is associated with outbreaks of a debilitating, irreversible paralytic disorder called konzo and, in some cases, death.
The incidence of konzo and tropical ataxic neuropathy can be as high as three percent in some areas. During the shortages in Venezuela in the lates, dozens of deaths were reported due to Venezuelans resorting to eating bitter cassava in order to curb starvation.
Societies that traditionally eat cassava generally understand that some processing soaking, cooking, fermentation, etc. Brief soaking four hours Casaba cassava is not sufficient, but soaking for 18—24 hours can remove up to half the level of cyanide. Drying may not be sufficient, either.
For some smaller-rooted, sweet varieties, cooking is sufficient to eliminate all toxicity. The cyanide is carried away in the processing water and the amounts produced in domestic consumption are too small to have environmental impact. The large roots are peeled and then ground into flour, which is Casaba soaked in water, squeezed dry several times, and toasted. The starch grains that flow with the water during the soaking process are also used in cooking.
Industrial production of cassava flour, even at the cottage level, may generate enough cyanide and cyanogenic glycosides in the effluents to have a severe environmental impact. A safe processing method known as the "wetting method" is to mix the cassava flour with water into a thick paste and then let it stand in the shade for five hours in a thin layer spread over a basket.
The traditional method used in West Africa is to peel the roots and put them into water for three days to ferment. The roots are then dried or cooked.
In Nigeria and several other west African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso, they are usually grated and lightly fried in palm oil to preserve them. The result is a foodstuff called gari. Fermentation is also used in other places such as Indonesia see Tapai.
The fermentation process also reduces the level of antinutrientsmaking the cassava a more nutritious food. A project called "BioCassava Plus" uses bioengineering to grow cassava with lower cyanogenic glycosides combined with fortification of vitamin Airon and protein to improve the nutrition of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cassava is harvested by hand by raising the lower part of the stem, pulling the roots out of the ground, and removing them from the base of the plant.
The upper parts of the stems with the leaves are plucked off before harvest. Cassava undergoes post-harvest physiological deterioration PPD once the tubers are separated from the main plant. The tubers, when damaged, normally respond with a healing mechanism. However, the same mechanism, which involves coumaric acidsstarts about 15 minutes after damage, and fails to switch off in harvested tubers.
It continues until the entire tuber is oxidized and blackened within two to three days after harvest, rendering it unpalatable and useless. PPD is related to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species ROS initiated by cyanide release during mechanical harvesting. Cassava shelf life may be increased up to three weeks by overexpressing a cyanide insensitive alternative oxidase, which suppressed ROS by fold.
Thank you for your feedback. The Casaba of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History.
Alternative Titles: Manihot esculenta, Manihot utilissima, mandioc, manioc, yuca. Britannica Quiz. This or That? Fruit vs. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.
Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Cassavaoften called manioc, is not a cereal but a tuber; however, it replaces cereals in certain countries, supplying the carbohydrate content of the diet.
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