HOW TO PROCESS GARRI
The word Garri originates from the Urhobo language in Nigeria. It is used to describe any powdery material, especially foodstuff, such as flour grains, e.g., Garrin Dawa (guinea corn flour), Garrin masara (maize flour), and Garrin sukkhari (sugar), and particularly fried tapioca.
It is a granular food product produced by grating cassava roots into a mash, fermenting and de-watering the mash into a wet cake, and roasting the wet material into gelatinized particles.
It has a slightly sour taste and it could be white or cream depending on the variety of cassava used and the processing method adopted. The particle size of garri may vary from 0.6 to 1.1 mm depending on the method of production and the preferences of the targeted consumers.
It is the most popular cassava food in many West African countries. Due to its convenience and multiplicity of use, it is gradually gaining a foothold in the international food market.
Ghana and Nigeria appear to be the principal producers, consumers, and exporters of garri. In Ghana the exports grew by 23.2% annually from 2001−2007. Nearly 75% of cassava produced in Nigeria is processed into garri.
The quality can be defined on the basis of its safety and fitness for use by the target consumer. Thus in order to satisfy the taste of the consumers a processor needs to integrate quality into the processing operations in order to build quality into the product.
In so doing the processor is able to attract more customers and remain competitive in the market place. Both processors and consumers alike have various indices by which they judge the quality of the product.
These include taste (acidity or sourness), swelling capacity, color, texture, crispiness, and absence of foreign matter (cleanliness). The product must not be too acidic, but should have a high swelling capacity, and must be of a definite color— either white or cream. Sometimes the uniformity and brightness of the color is considered more important than the color itself.
With respect to texture, a smooth texture is preferred. It must be crispy or very crispy and should have no sand particles, black specks, or residual peels in it.
Research to improve traditional cassava processing methods for Garri production was initiated in Nigeria in the early 1950s. It is a granulated and dehydrated, cassava product. It is classified/ grouped based on texture, length of fermentation, region or place where it is produced and
colour imparted by the addition/nonaddition of palm oil. It has a high swelling capability and can absorb up to four times its volume in water. (Jekayinfa and
Olajide, 2007).Obtainable in the market is the dry form of post processed Garri which can be consumed soaked in cold water. Sugar can also be added to the soaked Garri and it can be eaten with meat, roasted groundnuts, smoked fish, boiled beans, coconut, palm kernel, groundnut cake kwuli kwuli, and fermented maize snacks kokoro. Beverages and milk may also be added as complements.
Flow chart for garri production
- Fresh cassava
- Sieving (optional)
By Akubuo Chigaemezu