Value-adding post harvest processing of cooking bananas (Musa spp. AAB and ABB genome groups)
Cooking bananas (including plantains) are among the major commodities used in Sub Saharan Africa to combat food insecurity. It is estimated that more than 30% of the banana production are lost after
harvest. The losses are mostly due to the rapid ripening of the fruits, poor handling, inadequate storage and transportation means, and poor knowledge of food processing options. Processing the fresh fruits into food products with a longer shelf life can provide a major outlet to use surpluses and to exploit a greater number of marketing options. In this paper, we provide ingredients and recipes for food products made by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) from its improved hybrids of cooking bananas to decrease post harvest losses, diversify the industrial potentials of bananas, and add value to farmers’ products. Some of these processing methods can be used by farmers and rural
entrepreneurs in their communities to ensure food security and raise their incomes, or upgraded by the private sector in a value chain approach to curb production losses in bananas.
Keywords: Bananas, food security, post harvest, food processing, value addition