Cassava – exploring its leaves
Cassava leaves are available throughout the year and should be given as much attention as the roots. They are one of the most valuable parts of the cassava plant containing high amounts of protein, and are also a rich source of vitamins, B1, B2 and C, as well as carotenoids and minerals. In fact, the total amount of essential amino acids in cassava leaf protein is said to be similar to that of a hen’s egg and greater than that of spinach leaf, soybean, oat or rice. Toxicity and antinutrients limit the consumption of cassava leaves as food. These toxic and antinutritional aspects must be addressed properly during processing and before consumption. Research at Hohenheim University is examining the optimal way to treat the cassava leaves in order to transform them into an economical and sustainable source of protein and micro-nutrients. Various cassava leaf processing methods have been developed.
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