Solar dehydration of cassava for production of flour for local foods in Kenya

Kenyans subsist for the most part on maize and wheat-based foods. The rapid population increase, however, has not been paralleled by a corresponding increase in maize production and has increased the need for wheat imports. This situation has led to the consideration, on a national basis, of the use of composite flours as potential alternatives to expanded maize production and increased wheat importation. This paper reports on the attempts to produce cassava flour for combining with maize meal in ugali, sorghum and millet flours in uji, and wheat flour in mandazis. Evaluations were also made on the shelf-stability of flour under the prevailing weather conditions in Kenya and in package commonly used for milled cereal product storage. Cassava slices 2-mm thick were dried within 5 hr during fine, sunny weather, and were milled to produce good quality flour. Up to 50 of the composite flour was acceptable in uji and mandazi, but only up to 20 was tolerable in ugali. The flour maintained good color and organoleptic properties for up to 6 months of storage. Results indicate that cassava flour has potential for combining with milled cereal products in ugali, uji, and mandazis.