Effect of variety, age at maturity, and drying method on physicochemical properties of high quality cassava flour (HQCF)
High quality cassava flour (HQCF) is one of the products derivable from cassava roots. Drying in HQCF production is a complex operation which changes the quality of a product physically and chemically. Thus, it is important to investigate some quality attributes of high quality cassava flour obtained from solar and flash drying methods and compare these with the acceptable standard values. Two improved cassava varieties (TMS98/0510 and TMS98/0505) were planted and harvested at different developmental stages of 7, 9 and 12 months after planting. The roots were processed into HQCF within 24 h of harvest using mechanized and solar dryers. The physicochemical properties: moisture, crude fibre, carbohydrate, pH, and cyanide contents of the flour samples were determined using standard laboratory procedures. Effect of variety, age at harvest, and drying method as well as their interactive effects were then statistically assessed on these properties. There was a significant difference in pH and cyanide contents of HQCF samples from the two cassava varieties. With respect to the carbohydrate and moisture contents, the variety, age, and drying method interaction had no significant (p > 0.05) effect while interaction significantly affected the pH, cyanide, and crude fibre contents. However, the values obtained in all the HQCF samples were within acceptable limits.