Physical, chemical and sesnory properties of flakes (Gari) prepared from refrigerated cassava roots
Cassava is a tropical crop that can be processed into a variety of products including flakes popularly called gari. Gari is a product obtained from cassava root by fermentation, but the root from which the gari is obtained spoils rapidly. Efforts have been made to extend the shelf life of the root through the use of traditional and improved storage techniques, for example storage in boxes, freezing and refrigeration. However, the quality of the products from refrigerated roots, such as gari, has not been reported. In this study, cassava roots were refrigerated for a period of three weeks and the physicochemical properties of gari from the stored roots were determined. With the exception of the carbohydrate content which was very similar (approx. 88%), refrigeration of cassava roots significantly (p < 0.05) affected the physical and chemical properties of the resulting gari. The cyanide content decreased from 2.96 to 1.90 mg/ kg with increase in refrigeration period, while the functional properties including bulk densities and swelling power were only slightly affected. Cassava roots can be refrigerated for a period of two weeks without substantial changes in the eating quality of the resulting gari, if the storage condition is closely monitored. Future studies are required to investigate the physicochemical properties of other valuable products from refrigerated cassava roots to determine their potentials in food and non-food applications.
Keyword: Cassava; Functional; Gari; Refrigeration; Pasting; Sensory