The Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos, Dr. Oluwale Olatunji, has tasked Nigerian industrialists and agriculturists on the need to adopt new practices and food processing techniques developed by the nations research institutes in order to meet the food demand of the people.
Olatunji gave the charge in Lagos during a conference organised by the institute recently.
According to him, such an approach would help the nation avert food crisis and enable her produce enough to meet the food need of the African continent.
He also said that the nation would also enjoy greater foreign exchange earnings, thereby reducing the over dependence on oil as a major means of foreign exchange earnings.
He said with the improved methods of food processing introduced by the FIIRO, the nation would gain a lot from cassava.
According to him, the mechanised garri introduced by the institute had reduced the moisture content in garri and ensured its longer shelf life and proper packaging and detoxified cassava flour for bread and confectionery production, which is bland in taste, colourless and white in colour.
He also said FIIRO had introduced mechanised fufu powder, which makes cassava flavour milder, of better quality and longer life.
Olatunji said that the institute had developed cassava processing methods which ensure glucose syrup from cassava, cassava pellets for animal feeds, cassava-based poultry feed and dried cassava chips and flakes that can be refrigerated for garri production or for animal feed.
The FIIRO boss also explained that the institute has methods, which make it possible for mechanised elubo flour, instant pounded yam flour substitute made from potatoes and rice with yam flavour and pounded yam texture and cocoyam flavour for thickening traditional vegetable soups.
"There are also processing mechanisms which ensure low cost semi-instant soy-enriched warming foods, composite flour for bread and confectionary production, ready to eat breakfast food made from rice and acha and enriched with soy-bean flavour and other additives, while grain breakfast, cereal, dehulled and degermed grains and malted grains for brewing" he stated.
Olatunji also called on industrialists and agriculturists to avail themselves of the institutes researches, which had produced sorghum malt, detoxified cassava starch, ethanol from cassava peels, cassava chips, kilu smoked fish and meat and mushroom production.
According to him, mushrooms have been processed into powder for use as food condiment and for use in baked products. FIIRO revealed that the institute had developed strategies which ensure production of instant pounded yam flour and pounded yam flour substitute, production of 10 per cent cassava bread, snack and confectionary products, production of fruit juices and drink from tropical fruits.