Jumat, 16 Desember 2011

The Cassava Business in ASEAN - Introduction - What is Cassava?

Cassava originated in Brazil and Paraguay. Today it has been given the status of a cultigen with no wild forms of this species being known. Cassava is a perennial woody shrub, grown as an annual. Cassava is a major source of low cost carbohydrates for populations in the humid tropics. The largest producer of cassava is Brazil, followed by Thailand, Nigeria, Zaire and Indonesia. Production in Africa and Asia continues to increase, while that in Latin America has remained relatively level over the past 30 years. Thailand is the main exporter of cassava with most of it going to Europe. It was carried to Africa by Portuguese traders from the Americas. It is a staple food in many parts for western and central Africa and is found throughout the humid tropics. The world market for cassava starch and meal is limited, due to the abundance of substitutes.

Cassava is a root crops, generally it well known by rural people in developing countries, including in ASEAN member countries. It is very common be called in the lathin name, Manihot utilissima Pohl or Manihot esculenta Crantz. In the International trade, it has meny names , such as : cassava ( English ); yuka ( Spain ); mandioca ( Portugese ); and cassave ( Dutch ). I believe there are many other names in different countries, like in ASEAN Countries as well, in the Philippines, it is commonly called as kamoteng kahoy or balinghoy; in Indonesia commonly called as Singkong; even in one Country like Indonesia, it has also many difference names according to the region, for example : kaspe ( Central Java ndonesia); telo puhung ( East Java, Indonesia ); and sampeu or dangdeur or singkong ( West Java, Indonesia ).

Unprocessed cassava root
The root is long and tapered, with a firm homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, about 1 mm thick, rough and brown on the outside. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm in diameter at the top, and 50 to 80 cm long. A woody cordon runs along the root's axis. The flesh can be chalk-white or yellowish; raw cassava tastes like a mixture of potato and coconut flesh, it breaks like a carrot, and darkens quickly upon exposure to the air. For this reason, the skinned root must be kept under water until it is ready to be cooked. The root's flavor spoils in a day or so, even if kept unskinned and under refrigeration, which is a problem for supermarkets. A solution is usually to freeze it or seal it in wax.

The cassava plant gives the highest yield of food energy per cultivated area per day among crop plants, except possibly for sugarcane. Cassava roots are very rich in starch, and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast, cassava leaves are a good source of protein if supplemented with the amino acid methionine.

The oldest evidence of cassava cultivation comes from a 1,400 year old Maya site, Joya de Ceren, in El Salvador.[1] although the species Manihot esculenta likely originated further south in Brazil and Paraguay. With its high food potential, it had become a staple food of the native populations of northern South America, southern Mesoamerica, and the West Indies by the time of the Spanish conquest, and its cultivation was continued by the colonial Portuguese and Spanish. Forms of the modern domesticated species can be found growing in the wild in the south of Brazil. While there are several wild Manihot species, all varieties of M. esculenta are cultigens.

In many places in the Americas, yuca was the staple food. This translated into many images of yuca being used in pre-Colombian art. The Moche people often depicted yuca in their ceramics.

The Cassava is a plant with a lot of usefulness, especially it’s “root” or generally called “Cassava Root” which is the most importance part of cassava plant. The cassava root, other than being edible as food, it also used as the raw materials in agro-based industry, animal feeds and industrial purposes as follows.

It is used in various industries, for instance,
  • Food and Beverage: The cassava starch will be used in both its original form and its other modified forms, for instance, the instant noodle, sago, seasoning sauce including beverages;
  • Sweeteners: They are glucose and fructose which are used as the sweeteners in the beverage industry;
  • Textile Industry: It is used for slipping the thread and to make the thread being without hair during the weaving and to fortify the thread including the cloth printing in order to make the cloth being shining and durable;
  • Paper Industry: To mix it with the paper in order that the paper pulp to be tough and thick;
  • Glue Industry: To use it for producing glue including any products that’s their mixture is the glue;
  • Plywood Industry: To use it in form of glue made from cassava starch in the process of plywood manufacture in order to make the plywood becomes qualified, tough and durable;
  • Medicine Industry: To use it as the diluent of capsule medicine and pill;
  • Monosodium Glutamate: To use it for producing the MFG for seasoning food;
  • Bio-Degradable Material Products: To use the cassava starch to be transformed as product by mean of adding the bio-degradable substance to be in place of plastic.
  • Animal Feeds: It is used as the ingredients of animal feeds;
  • Alcohol: It is used for producing alcohol for the liquor manufacture and the disinfectant.
  • Gasohol: To be used for producing Ethanol and mixed with fuel which is a renewable energy source
Cassava Root

Cassava has a function to support the food diversification and food self reliance. The choice made due to the various fuction of cassava, such as for food, feed , fuel and other industrial function, including for degridable plastic. In fact that cassava has a multi function.

Regarding food utilization, widespread initiatives have been undertaken in many vulnerable countries that target cassava to meet more of the dietary staple needs. This is particularly evident in sub-Saharan Africa, where consumption of cassava (mostly in the form of fresh roots and basic processed products) is on the rise. However, the overall production gain in the region is expected to barely match growth in population, bringing about little change in per caput food availability. Measures to promote domestic cassava flour over imported cereals, either through direct consumption or through blending remain active throughout the world and constitute an important driver for higher cassava food consumption. Brazil mandates the inclusion of 10 percent cassava flour in wheat flour and it is estimated that 50 percent of the country's cassava crop is utilized in such blending. Though several major producing countries in West Africa have also promoted this initiative, especially Nigeria, many have fallen short of enforcement, owing to the limited availability of cassava flour.

The demand for cassava by ethanol sectors will again emerge as the most significant driver in the expansion of cassava utilization. A typical production system can produce about 280 litres (222 kg) of 96 percent pure ethanol from one tonne of cassava roots with 30 percent starch content. China is forecast to produce around 5 million tonnes of ethanol from cassava in 2009, requiring around 7 million tonnes of dried cassava. The country has also secured agreements with several neighbouring countries to supply its ethanol industry with the feedstock. In Thailand, an ethanol plant with a capacity to produce up to 0.5 million litres of ethanol per day was due to go on-line in 2008, but, owing to rising costs during that year, construction was suspended. However, the ethanol facility is expected to start production late in 2009. Thailand requires around 2 million litres of ethanol to meet its 10 percent fuel substitution plan. Likewise in Indonesia, cassava is set to be used in 5 percent ethanol mandatory gasoline blends. With soaring prices of competing feedstocks, sugar and molasses, cassava-based ethanol distilleries in both countries are expected to operate at full capacity.

Utilization of cassava as animal feed, in the form of dried chips and pellets, is mostly concentrated in Brazil and Colombia in Latin America and the Caribbean, Nigeria in Africa, China and the Republic of Korea in Asia. Little is known how feed usage has faired in the former two regions, but the demand for cassava feed ingredients in Asia has plummeted. Similarly, in Europe, cassava applications in the manufacture of feed ingredients have been virtually non-existent in 2009.

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