Yield, Safety and Functional Properties of Starch from Different Kenyan Cassava Cultivars

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Several cassava cultivars have been bred for various necessary traits (disease resistant, drought resistant and high yielding) in Kenya. However, these cassava cultivars have not been assessed for their technological usage in food systems. This study was carried out to determine if there are any differences in yield, Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) content and technological or functional properties of starch extracted from different cassava cultivars grown in Kenya. 21 cassava cultivars were sampled from the University of Nairobi farm at Kibwezi, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARJ)- Kakamega and farmers in Busia County. Starch was extracted from each cultivar and dried in a tent solar drier to a final moisture of 12-14%. The dried starch from each cultivar was then evaluated for yield, HCN content, water absorption index, swelling power and pasting properties. There were differences (P<;O.OI) in starch yield and HCN content among the cultivars. Starch yield varied from 5.94% in Mshelisheli to 29.1 % in local cultivar. The HCN content of starch from all the cultivars was below the WHO recommended maximum of 10 mg/kg. There was a difference in Water Absorption Index (WAI) among the cultivars ranging from 0.867 for Mshelisheli to 2.420 for MH97/2270. Swelling power ranged from 9.53 - 29.47 gig for Migyera and MH9510 183, respectively. The peak viscosity ranged from 790 BU for local cultivar to 882.5 BU for MH9712270. The starch from MM97/2270 and MH9510183 had the best combination of functional properties, hence recommended for starch production and use in food industries.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 78 (No 1,2), p. 55-62