New sustainable approach to reduce cassava borne environmental waste and develop biodegradable materials for food packaging applications
Tumwesigye, Kashub Steven
Sousa-Gallagher, Maria Jose
MetadataShow full item record
Transforming waste cassava into a sustainable resource requires a new approach and redesign of the current processing methodologies. Bitter cassava cultivars have been employed mainly as an emergency famine food, but could also be used as a value-added material for packaging. Processing of intact bitter cassava can minimize waste, and produce low-cost added value biopolymer packaging films for targeted applications. This study developed an improved simultaneous release, recovery and cyanogenesis (SRRC) downstream processing methodology for sustainable reduction of waste and development of film packaging material using intact bitter cassava. SRRC approach produced peeled (BP) and intact (BI) bitter cassava biopolymer derivatives. BI showed significantly higher yields ensuring 16% waste decrease with no environmental impact caused by discard residues. SRRC was very effective in reducing the total cyanogen content to within Codex minimum safety limits, demonstrating that the peeling of bitter cassava process can be avoided. Transparent films were produced using the casting method from both BP and BI derivatives. BI films were more transparent and homogeneous, less soluble, less permeable to moisture, less hydrophilic, more permeable to oxygen and carbon-dioxide, sealable, lower cost, than the BP. Hence, intact bitter cassava and SRRC can be used as sustainable, safe, integrative process solution for high value-added product (e.g., packaging film) production from low-cost biobased materials.