Bioaccessibility of micronutrients in yellow cassava pasta enriched with African leafy vegetables

The most accessible and affordable foods to the low-income earners, such as cassava, are usually mainly starchy and low in micronutrients thus leading to hidden hunger. Biofortified cassava varieties containing provitamin A carotenoids have great potentials to alleviate   vitamin A deficiencies but low in iron and zinc as well as being prone to post-processing degradation. The challenge for this research is to design nutritious food from the accessible plant food ingredients such that the affordable becomes equally nutritious. Leafy vegetables are rich in micronutrients and abundant in several African communities  but the consumption is low due to ignorance about the nutritive value, cooking methods, urbanization and less time available for cooking.

This research is aimed at food-to-food fortification utilizing yellow cassava and leafy vegetables to design convenient and nutritious pasta. The choice of pasta is based on recent studies about increasing preference for the food due to its ease of preparation, low cost and versatility.

We shall examine the most accessible and preferred vegetables with the highest nutritional profile to incorporate into the cassava pasta which can confer on the consumers the much-needed micronutrients, especially vitamin A, iron and zinc. The bioaccesibility of micronutrients in the developed pasta will be studied in details with the focus on  evaluating the nutritional quality of the newly developed food.

1. Ilona Paul, Bouis HE, , Palenberg M, , Moursi M and A Oparinde. “Vitamin A cassava in Nigeria: Crop development and delivery,” AJFAND, vol. 17, no. 02, pp. 12000–12025, Apr. 2017, doi: 10.18697/ajfand.78.HarvestPlus09.