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How to Remove the Poison from Cassava Flour

Cassava is a staple food for over 800 million people in approximately 80 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Asia, the Pacific and South America. Cassava contains cyanogens, which protect against pests and predators by producing cyanide. So-called bitter varieties produce more cyanide, and the roots of these varieties need to be processed before eating. The traditional methods, such as soaking and sundrying, vary in their efficiency, and hunger may force people to take short cuts. The resulting cyanide exposure can cause acute cyanide poisoning, goitre, and the paralytic disease konzo. An estimated 2.5 million people in six countries in Africa live in communities vulnerable to konzo. This video shows a new simple method to remove cyanide from cassava products, the wetting method.

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