Cassava as an Important Staple Food and Its Application in the Food Industry -- A Review

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Cassava, Manihot esculenta, is cultivated in tropical areas around the world as a staple food source that feeds millions. Cassava tubers are rich in starch. Cassava starch, modified or native, is an important ingredient in the food and pharmaceutical industries. For example, the starch can be hydrolyzed to produce glucose or dextrin. Cassava is a gluten-free carbohydrate source that can be used as a fat replacer in meat analogs. Its modified forms can be used to encapsulate active ingredients, and it can be made into edible or biodegradable food packaging materials. However, in many cassava-growing developing countries, cassava farmers who depend on cassava as a staple food source do not have enough resources to convert this starch vegetable into value-added products to improve their economic returns and their lives. In addition, many of them are suffering from diseases brought on by consuming cassava products without enough processing, as cassava tubers are high in cyanide, which is toxic to the human body. Therefore, it is important to bring the issues to the attention of both academics and the food industry. This review discusses topics such as optimizing cassava growing, detoxification of the tubers, sustainable wastewater processing, tapioca starch modifications, tapioca starch as a staple food and the related epidemiology problems, and applications of tapioca starch and its derivatives in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In conclusion, cassava is a rich carbohydrate source once detoxified properly and can be used as a staple food with some supplementation of protein and other essential nutrients. The production waste needs to be processed before being released into the environment; ideally used to generate additional value. Cassava can be easily processed into cassava starch. The starch can be used directly as a food ingredient for the preparation of a variety of food products. The starch can also be modified, chemically or physically, into different forms with their special properties.

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Union Local


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Regenstein, Joe

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Master of Professional Studies

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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


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