Document Type : Research Paper
House 6, Royal Estate, Abacha Road
Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Lafia, PMB 146, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Lafia, P.M.B. 146, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
The expanding use of cassava and its derivatives across industries in Nigeria has raised concerns about potential hydrogen cyanide (HCN) toxicity in inadequately processed cassava products. This study aimed to investigate and compare the hydrogen cyanide concentration in eight processed cassava product samples sourced from January to March 2023 from supermarkets and local markets in Lafia town, Nigeria, using the picrate in solution method. The samples included Niji® Foods Cassava Flour, IFGREEN® Odourless Fufu Flour, Ayoola® Fufu Flour, Aiteefills® Fufu flour, Niji® Foods Garri, Golden Penny Garri, GGEE® foods Ijebu Garri, and local brand cassava starch. Spectrophotometric measurements at 535 nm were used to determine the total cyanide content in mg HCN equivalents/kg dry weight, calculated as ppm by multiplying the absorbance by 396. The results were analysed using Minitab version 20.0, employing one-way ANOVA, and pair-wise comparisons were made post hoc using Tukey t-tests. HCN concentrations in all samples ranged from 4.13 to 21.47 mg HCN equivalents/kg dry weight, exhibiting significant variation (p ≤ 0.05) among the samples. Except for Niji® Foods Garri and Ayoola® Fufu Flour, all samples surpassed the benchmark limit set by FAO/WHO and SON (10 mg HCN/kg body weight). However, all samples were deemed safe for consumption as the hydrogen cyanide concentration did not exceed the lethal dose threshold (50 - 100 mg HCN/kg body weight). This study provides valuable insights into the hydrogen cyanide content of various processed cassava products and confirms their safety for consumption when adequately processed.
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