Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, Agnes Simpson Budu, Clement Asiedu, Linley Chiwona-Karltun and Drinah B Nyirenda
High yielding and cassava mosaic disease (CMD) resistant cassava varieties have been developed by the Crop Research Institute of Ghana with varying compositions and concentrations of starches and sugars. This study characterized four of these improved cassava varieties (Ampong, Broni bankye, Sika and Otuhia) together with two traditional varieties (Amakuma and Bankye fitaa) for their composition of starches and sugars using principal component and cluster analyses. The concentration of total sugars, reducing and non-reducing sugars, sucrose, starches, amylose and amylopectin were determined using standard analytical methods. Results obtained were total sugar (4.04-18.47%), non-reducing sugar (2.08-16.21%), sucrose (1.98-15.40%), starch (15.39-31.07%) and amylose (30.57-40.33%) and these were significantly different (p < 0.05) amongst the studied cassava varieties. The improved varieties (Ampong, Broni bankye, Sika and Otuhia) had high total sugar levels ranging from 7.19 to 18.47 %. With the exception of Broni bankye (improved variety) all the improved and traditional varieties were high starch and amylose containing varieties. These differences in the biochemical composition of the traditional and improved cassava varieties could be used in their selection for specific food and industrial processing applications.