HOD, Food Science and Technology (COLFHEC), Prof. Lateef Sanni displaying a sample of the Cassava Flour Bread to stakeholders
The Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), of the University, Professor Lateef Sanni, remains unrepentant of his research-proven conviction that High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) would be feasible as alternative to wheat flour.
Professor Sanni said the continued resistance by flour manufacturers to strong cassava inputs in their recipe is a death knell for the Nigerian economy as the unrelenting wasteful importation of wheat component will continue to drain the capacity of the Naira to compete with other strong currencies of the world.
He therefore posited that the push by the Federal Government for the inclusion of 40% High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in the production of bread is achievable with the cooperation of flour manufacturers and master bakers.
Professor Sanni disclosed this during an interactive session held recently with Entrepreneurs of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and other stakeholders, drawn from all parts of the country, at COLFHEC Boardroom.
The occasion was used to test-run samples of bread made of a preponderant quantity of cassava, the outcome of which justified the assertion that cassava can be a viable alternative to wheat.
The University don, who disclosed that the inclusion of HQCF in the production of bread was not alien to the Nigerian system, recalled that the former administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 championed the cassava revolution, with the inclusion of 10% HQCF in bread production.
He, however, regretted that the directive was short-lived as many of the key stakeholders failed to demonstrate due commitment.
He lauded the initiative of the present administration for revisiting the policy, saying that the nation’s economy would be better off for it, particularly with the constant surge in the price of wheat flour and climate change which has affected crop productivity.
Professor Sanni revealed that two categories of flour brands in the market-Honeywell and Golden Penny were used by his team of researchers from the University to achieve the result.
The HOD who pointed out that the country has some of the best manufacturers of flash dryers for the production of cassava flour, called for the implementation of the policy.
He stressed that the policy would encourage indigenous cassava farmers, promote local substitution and job creation as well as boost the economy of the country.