Cassava is a tropical root vegetable that can be used along with potatoes, carrots, radishes and other tubers. Cassava is also used in flour, which is a kind of starch required in kitchens around the globe. Dry cassava flour can also be bought from grocery stores. Finding fresh roots of cassava plants is almost impossible because they tend to rot very quickly.
The leaves of this veggie can be used to prepare food as well. Compared to other green vegetables, the nutritional value of cassava is a little low. The leaves of this plant have higher protein content when compared to the nutrients found in the roots of cassava.
Main article: Alcoholic beverage § Beverages by type
Alcoholic beverages made from cassava include cauim and tiquira (Brazil), kasiri (Guyana, Suriname), impala (Mozambique), masato (Peruvian Amazonia chicha), parakari or kari (Guyana), nihamanchi (South America) also known as nijimanche (Ecuador and Peru), ö döi (chicha de yuca, Ngäbe-Bugle, Panama), sakurá (Brazil, Suriname), tarul ko jaarh (Darjeeling, Sikkim, India).
Main article: Cassava-based dishes
Cassava heavy cake
Cassava-based dishes are widely consumed wherever the plant is cultivated; some have regional, national, or ethnic importance. Cassava must be cooked properly to detoxify it before it is eaten.
Cassava can be cooked in many ways. The root of the sweet variety has a delicate flavor and can replace potatoes. It is used in cholent in some households. It can be made into a flour that is used in breads, cakes and cookies. In Brazil, detoxified manioc is ground and cooked to a dry, often hard or crunchy meal known as farofa used as a condiment, toasted in butter, or eaten alone as a side dish.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 160 kcal (670 kJ)
Sugars 1.7 g
Dietary fiber 1.8 g
Vitamins Quantity %DV†
Thiamine (B1) 8% 0.087 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 4% 0.048 mg
Niacin (B3) 6% 0.854 mg
Vitamin B6 7% 0.088 mg
Folate (B9) 7% 27 μg
Vitamin C 25% 20.6 mg
Minerals Quantity %DV†
Calcium 2% 16 mg
Iron 2% 0.27 mg
Magnesium 6% 21 mg
Phosphorus 4% 27 mg
Potassium 6% 271 mg
Sodium 1% 14 mg
Zinc 4% 0.34 mg
Other constituents Quantity
Water 60 g
Full Link to USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Raw cassava is 60% water, 38% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and has negligible fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, raw cassava provides 160 calories and contains 25% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, but otherwise has no micronutrients in significant content (no values above 10% DV; table). Cooked cassava starch has a digestibility of over 75%.
Cassava, like other foods, also has antinutritional and toxic factors. Of particular concern are the cyanogenic glucosides of cassava (linamarin and lotaustralin). On hydrolysis, these release hydrocyanic acid (HCN). The presence of cyanide in cassava is of concern for human and for animal consumption. The concentration of these antinutritional and unsafe glycosides varies considerably between varieties and also with climatic and cultural conditions. Selection of cassava species to be grown, therefore, is quite important. Once harvested, bitter cassava must be treated and prepared properly prior to human or animal consumption, while sweet cassava can be used after simply boiling.
Comparison with other major staple foods
A comparative table shows that cassava is a good energy source. In its prepared forms in which its toxic or unpleasant components have been reduced to acceptable levels, it contains an extremely high proportion of starch. Compared to most staples however, cassava accordingly is a poorer dietary source of protein and most other essential nutrients. Though an important staple, its main value is as a component of a balanced diet.
Comparisons between the nutrient content of cassava and other major staple foods when raw, as shown in the table, must be interpreted with caution because most staples are not edible in such forms and many are indigestible, even dangerously poisonous or otherwise harmful. For consumption, each must be prepared and cooked as appropriate. Suitably cooked or otherwise prepared, the nutritional and antinutritional contents of each of these staples is widely different from that of raw form and depends on the methods of preparation such as soaking, fermentation, sprouting, boiling, or baking.
In many countries, significant research has begun to evaluate the use of cassava as an ethanol biofuel feedstock. Under the Development Plan for Renewable Energy in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in the People's Republic of China, the target is to increase the production of ethanol fuel from nongrain feedstock to two million tonnes, and that of biodiesel to 200 thousand tonnes by 2010. This is equivalent to the replacement of 10 million tonnes of petroleum. As a result, cassava (tapioca) chips have gradually become a major source of ethanol production. On 22 December 2007, the largest cassava ethanol fuel production facility was completed in Beihai, with annual output of 200 thousand tons, which would need an average of 1.5 million tons of cassava. In November 2008, China-based Hainan Yedao Group reportedly invested US$51.5m (£31.8m) in a new biofuel facility that is expected to produce 33 million US gallons (120,000 m3) a year of bioethanol from cassava plants.
Tubers being grated; a close-up of the product; drying on road to be used for pig and chicken feed
Cassava tubers and hay are used worldwide as animal feed. Cassava hay is harvested at a young growth stage (three to four months) when it reaches about 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in) above ground; it is then sun-dried for one to two days until its final dry matter content approaches 85 percent. Cassava hay contains high protein (20–27 percent crude protein) and condensed tannins (1.5–4 percent CP). It is valued as a good roughage source for ruminants such as cattle.
Manioc is also used in a number of commercially available laundry products, especially as starch for shirts and other garments. Using manioc starch diluted in water and spraying it over fabrics before ironing helps stiffen collars.
According to the American Cancer Society, cassava is ineffective as an anti-cancer agent: "there is no convincing scientific evidence that cassava or tapioca is effective in preventing or treating cancer".
- Manioc (Cassava) USD 1.65 /Per Kg