The competing needs for the various forms of processed cassava for human consumption has dubbed the staple food as the corner stone of food security in Nigeria. One of such is Garri, a popular cassava food in many West African countries.
Due to its convenience and multiplicity of use, Garri is gradually gaining a foothold in the international food market. It is a pan-fried cassava flake, powdery, creamy-white, granular flour with a slightly fermented and sour taste made from the tuberous roots of fresh cassava plant, which in the process of its manufacture is changed into dry edible granules. The granular size of Garri may vary from 0.6 to1.1 mm depending on the method of production and the preferences of the targeted consumers.
In Nigeria, a variation of Garri is popularly known as Ijebu-Garri, a whitish colored Garri while the Igbo Garri is known as the Yellow Garri. In Ghana, Garri is judged by its taste and grain size. The sweeter types with finer grains are more valued over sourer, large grain varieties. In Liberia, Garri is used to make a dessert called Kanyan which is combined with peanuts and honey. In Mozambique, Garri is traditional to the people of Inhambane Province of Mozambique, where it is known as rale.
In West Africa, variations of the yellow and white Garri are common across Nigeria and Cameroon. Essentially, both varieties of Garri have the similar processing methods; the yellow colour can be achieved simply by adding a few drops of palm-oil to the cassava flour during the frying/drying stage, the white Garri is fried without palm oil.
At Xtreme Returns Farms, our Garri is made by integrating quality into the processing operations in order to build a fresh and healthy product. The descriptions of the processing steps are as follows:
Peel the Cassava Roots
Our freshly harvested Cassava roots are peeled immediately after harvesting or at most, a day after harvesting. Our mechanical and physical peeling is usually thorough to avoid the presence of peel fragments in the final product. The practical significance of peeling is the removal of brown peel which might affect the colour of the Garri and increase fibre content.
Peeled roots are washed thoroughly in potable water to remove all sand particles and dirt, which could disrupt the quality of the final product.
Grate the Roots
The clean roots are grated to obtain a mash which is carried out by a motorized cassava grater. The sharpness of our grating affects the efficiency of subsequent operations such as fermentation and detoxification, and some quality characteristics of the final product such as fineness. Grating disintegrates the cassava tissue and frees up the moisture.
Leave for a Few Days to Ferment
The grated Cassava mash is loaded into a polypropylene bag and left for between 1 and 5 days to ferment. Fermentation of cassava is an important operation needed to improve the taste, aroma and the general quality of the Garri. The acceptability of Garri is influenced by its sourness. Some customers accept a mild, sour taste while others prefer an acidic taste. In order to get the acidic taste, the cassava mash is fermented for 3-5 days instead of 1−2 days.
Dewater the Fermented Mash
The fermented mash is dewatered inside a polypropylene sack by pressing with a hydraulic press. Pressing is done principally to reduce the moisture content of the grated mash to 40%-50%. Dewatering is usually completed within a short time, 15−20 minutes.
Disintegrate and Sieve
The cake formed after dewatering is disintegrated by our motorized cassava grater. The cake is usually also broken up by hand to remove the fibre and pieces of improperly grated cassava which could be returned to the grater for proper grating. Sieving also reduces the formation of lumps during roasting.
A source of heat and a frying pan made of aluminium or stainless steel are used. The granules are fed in bits into the hot pan and stirred until an adequate quantity has been fed in. Roasting is done in two stages: the first stage is partial gelatinization i.e. further breaking up of the granules by heat and water, followed by drying. The stirring of Garri, during roasting is continuous but with intermittent short breaks which allow proper gelatinization to occur. The Garri is collected when it is dry.
Allow to Cool
The roasted Garri cools for 4-6 hours in clean containers. As the garri cools, it loses more moisture thus becoming drier and crisper.
Sieve to Reduce Particle Sizes
The roasted dry Garri is sieved to remove big lumps and obtain uniform particle sizes. The coarse granules are then milled to smaller particle sizes and then mixed with the main batch depending on the fineness after milling.
Package for Consumption
Packing is done soon after the Garri has sufficiently cooled. The final product is placed in packages of 50kg and 100kg. Our Garri is properly stored in well ventilated rooms on pallet racks so it does not lose its crispiness, and to avoid mold growth.
Garri can be eaten in its granular form. It can be soaked in cold water with a mixture of sugar, groundnut, honey, coconut and/or milk. Garri can also be mixed with cooked beans. It can also be mixed in boiled water to make dough (‘Eba’) that can be served with any soup of choice.
Garri offers many health benefits such as helping in food digestion, improving the immune system, promoting eyesight, promoting bowel emptying, and reducing age-related illness. It also contains dietary fibre, protein, lipids, and more.
Just as Garri can be gotten from Cassava, there are also other food products that can be processed from it such as Fufu, Abacha (Cassava Salad), Cassava Flour and chips for snacks.
An average Nigerian eats Garri twice a week. Starting a business that involves the production and sale of Garri is very profitable in Nigeria. At Xtreme Returns, we have 50kg and 100kg bags of Garri in wholesale quantities for sale. Kindly call +2349030001295 for more details.