Cassava is a root vegetable. It is the underground part of the cassava shrub, which has the Latin name Manihot esculenta. Like potatoes and yams, it is a tuber crop. Cassava roots have a similar shape to sweet potatoes. The leaves of theย  plant are edible as well. Cassava has its origins from the South Americans. People prepare and eat cassava in various ways in different parts of the world, with baking and boiling being the most common methods. In some places, people ferment cassava before using it.

It is essential to peel cassava and never eat it raw. It contains dangerous levels of cyanide unless a person cooks it thoroughly before eating it.

Uses of Cassava

Cassava can be used to make a number of things; from dishes to making medications, fabrics, paper, and building materials, such as plywood, some people use cassava to feed their animals.

Most common uses of Cassava and their methods of production include.

Cassava Starch- Production Process

Cassava Starch

image source: steambrooks

  • Peel and wash freshly harvested cassava roots.
  • Grate or grind smoothly.
  • Mix with a lot of clean water (about ten times the weight of the roots).
  • Filter through a fine mesh sieve or a muslin cloth.
  • Allow the filtrate to settle. Decant the supernatant within a day.
  • Wash off the starch residue several times with water to get white, odorless, and tasteless starch.
  • Put in a clean bag and press to dewater.
  • Break cake, spread thinly on a tray, and sun dry.
  • Finely mill the dried starch granules and sift if necessary.
  • Package in airtight containers.

Tapioca -Production Process


image source: mednewstoday

  • Remove fresh cassava starch cake from the sedimentation container.
  • Spread thinly over a clean surface, use fingers to break up the cake into granules.
  • Put the semi-dried starch granules into an earthenware pot or a heavy griddle pan and roast over a slow fire stirring constantly to avoid uneven cooking or burning.
  • Stir until tapioca is dry (grains sh I do increase in size during this process, with some popping sound).
  • Remove tapioca from the pot and spread out to cool.
  • Sift to sort the granules by size.

High Quality Cassava Flour -Production Process

Cassava flour

image source: cookist

  • Peel and wash freshly harvested cassava roots.
  • Grate the roots into a mash.
  • Dewater the mash by pressing in a clean bag.
  • Break the presses mad (cake) into fine granules; manually or mechanically.
  • Spread thinly on clean trays or black polyethylene sheets on a raised platform (to prevent contamination) and allow to sun-dry. In large scale processing, dryers like cabinet, rotary or flash dryer may be used.
  • Finely milk the dried cassava granules, sift if necessary.
  • Package in polyethylene bags or any other airtight containers.


Note: in high quality cassava flour making, there should not be fermentation. The processing should be completed within 24 hours in order to obtain high quality, unfermented flour, suitable for baking. Also, cassava flour should pass through a fine mesh to meet the Nigerian industrial standard for edible cassava flour.