The environment is healthy when it has less and harmless pollution from any form of contamination. Cyanide is one of the contaminants that is responsible for degrading and changing the structural, biological, physical and chemical nature of the soil. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is rated as one of the most popular crops in the world which can be consumed raw, cooked and also be processed into flakes (garri). Consequently, the cyanide concentration varies. The stages of processing cassava start from the peeling, washing, grating, dewatering and finally, frying. These processes are responsible for the deposition of cyanide into the environment. It is in view of these that this research
was aimed at determining the best of the cassava variety to be consumed by determining the concentration of cyanide in the different varieties and the effects of cassava mill effluents to the environment in Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria. From findings, microbial and physicochemical analyses were conducted and it was discovered that
TMS 98/0581 and Bernada which are among the improved varieties are the best to be consumed having a lower level of cyanide concentration of 4.8900 mg/kg and 5.1025 mg/kg respectively far below the acceptable limit of 10 mg/kg, after a standard cooking time of 35 minutes. When processed into flakes (garri), TMS 98/0581 and Bernada have the lowest concentrations of 0.2410 mg/kg and 0.4150 mg/kg respectively. Cyanide spillage affects both the biological and physicochemical structure of the soil by reducing the bacterial, fungal counts, the soil pH, BOD and COD respectively. The most dominant microorganisms present in the cyanide contaminated soil are acidophiles; which are Campylobacter pylori (Helicobacter pylori), Aspergillus nigger, Lactobacillus planetarium and Klebsiella aerogenes. They could be responsible for causing harmful bacterial diseases like peptic ulcer and pneumonia in both animals and humans. As we seek out solutions to these environmental effects, a process of creating a value chain was carefully studied and a recommended cassava layout was designed and was incorporated with a regurgitating machine to collect cassava mill effluents. The cassava peels could be grated, dewatered, dried and packaged as feeds for animals. Effluents could be channeled and stored where they can be converted to gas thereby connecting hoses and gas pipes to be used as a source of energy in processing cassava flakes (garri) in place of firewood or charcoal. The starch to be collected could be used in pharmaceutical, food and textile industries for drug formulations, food additives and cloth strengtheners respectively. These will result in saving our environment, mitigating diseases, creating job opportunities, improving the economy of the nation thereby adding to the value chain of cassava.
Published Date: 2020-07-28; Received Date: 2020-06-23