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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås (2021)

Health issues related to the production and consumption of cassava as a staple food

Nyamekye, Comfort Abrafi

Titre : Health issues related to the production and consumption of cassava as a staple food

Auteur : Nyamekye, Comfort Abrafi

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Master of Science in Plant Science (Biotechnology) 2021

Résumé partiel
Cassava plays a vital role in the world’s tropical regions. However, it carries varying amounts of cyanogenic glucosides that are a possible human poison. Some forms of malpractices also endanger human health during production.
This research assessed the human health issues related to cassava production and consumption. It described a comprehensive study on cassava roots as a staple carbohydrate and the leaves as vegetables containing vitamin and mineral sources but deficient in amino acids and proteins. It explained that cassava is an essential crop to food security and serves many great purposes economic stability. This work reveals that, cassava contains cyanogenic glycosides (Hydrogen cyanide ; HCN) and other anti-nutritional properties that threaten food safety and human health. Cyanogens, when ingested, could cause serious health problems for humans. Detecting and measuring cyanogen amounts in cassava can contribute to the prevention of cyanide poisoning due to the intake of improperly processed cyanogenic cassava.
A concise clarification has been given on the various diseases caused by cyanide intake or cyanide overdose, including konzo, ataxic neuropathy, goiter, and cyanide poisoning. It further described the different processing methods used to remove cyanide from cassava. These also include ; boiling, fermentation, steaming, baking, frying, and drying methods. Plant breeders have been able to breed cultivars of cassava with low levels of hydrogen cyanide HCN) using the selection method. Efforts to develop more hydrogen HCN-low cassava varieties should be intensified by research institutes, especially in areas where cassava and its products have been recently introduced.

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Page publiée le 26 mars 2022