Thursday, April 25, 2024

Researchers from FIIRO, NRCRI Advice Bakers to Adopt OFSP, HQCF

Researchers and other stakeholders have called on master bakers and others in the bakery and confectionery businesses to adopt the use of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) to reduce the cost of production and prices of their products.

Researchers and other stakeholders have called on master bakers and others in the bakery and confectionery businesses to adopt the use of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) and High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) to reduce the cost of production and prices of their products.

The Director and Head, Food Technology Department, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Oluwatoyin Oluwole, disclosed that analysis from the institute showed that adding 20 to 25 per cent of OFSP to wheat flour makes bread cheaper to produce, and affordable.

Oluwole explained that it can be added as paste or flour, but emphasized that paste is better to retain the high level of nutrients in the puree, while lamenting that the government and Nigerian businessmen have not utilized research products developed by FIIRO and other institutes in the country.

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Also, the head of Iresi outstation for the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Solomon Olufemi Afuape, noted that inclusion of OFSP has additional nutritional advantage due to the presence of high beta-carotene (provitamin A) content.

The Secretary, Association of Master Bakers, Jude Okafor, opined that bakers should explore more local content to diversify the raw material base, saying the cassava flour policy is good and would have helped the bakery sector tremendously, but the policy was not implemented as designed.

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He noted that added to cassava flour inclusion is the discovery of OFSP, which he said has greater potential than cassava, which matures in one year, while sweet potato matures in three to four months, with two or more cycles in a year, making it faster to produce and cheaper than cassava flour in bread.

Mark Adejare, spokesman for Sano Foods, a potato puree processor, highlighted some of the benefits of adding OFSP to bread production, including a reduction in the volume of sugar, butter, and sweetener and an increase in the bread’s shelf life.

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