A team from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, has created a loaf of bread made from cassava flour.
"… By implementing a project like this, we can reduce our imports by substituting cassava and other starchy foods through flours into our diet," said Dr Ian Thompson, principal investigator in the 'Towards Food Security: The Production of Cassava Flour' project.
Thompson, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, said the findings could have "tremendous implications because … it could satisfy our food-security needs. It could also stimulate rural economies and develop opportunities to engage our scientists and graduates in developing products for the market".
One of the issues which sparked the initiative was the fact that the Government had not identified a menu of products in which cassava could be used, except for bammy and cassava chips.
"We took the initiative to look at this particular problem and develop a bread which utilises … a mixture of wheat flour and cassava flour. Once we had completed the trials, we did a variety of tests among our students to validate the authenticity of its taste and acceptability," he said.
EYEING OTHER STARCHES
He said the group intends to expand the project to turn other starches, including turning sweet potato, banana, and breadfruit into flour.
"The banana flour to make banana porridge is imported, and we are saying we have the technology and the ability. We are using this particular demonstration to highlight the fact that we can do the conversions successfully and that there is a ready and available market," he said.