The Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, (FIIRO) on Thursday called for legislation on cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour for bread and confectioneries.
The Director-General, FIIRO, Prof. Gloria Elemo, made the call at a Cassava Stakeholders’ Workshop on the use of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in confectioneries in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had as the theme: “HQCF in Confectioneries: Techniques, Prospects and Economic Viability’’.
The workshop was organised by FIIRO in collaboration with the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa II (C:AVA II).
“It is my prayer that the legislation of cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour for bread and confectioneries will become a reality given the investment and commitments that have been made by stakeholders.
“You will all agree with me that cassava is the answer to Nigeria’s food security and the country’s industrial evolution.
“It will be more efficient and effective, if there is a deliberate policy in place, either 10 per cent or 20 or whatever percentage inclusion of HQCF,’’ Elemo said.
She said that FIIRO had always focused on realising its vision of industrialising Nigeria through research activities with cassava utilisation as one of its priorities.
“FIIRO pioneered research into the utilisation of composite flours in Nigeria.
“A series of experiments and economic evaluations were carried out to ascertain the quality and viability of bread and confectioneries baked with high quality cassava flour inclusion in wheat flour.
“Mechanised production of high quality cassava flour was also pioneered in the institute in order to ensure its availability in commercial quantities,’’ the director-general said.
According to Elemo, researches over the years confirmed that HQCF inclusion in wheat flour is safe and has numerous benefits.
Elemo listed some of the benefits to include foreign exchange earning, wealth creation, job creation and growth of non-oil sector.
She said that FIIRO’s relationship with C:AVA dated back to 2009 and had given room for training and workshops for master bakers and biscuit manufacturers in Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states.
The director-general said that the beneficiaries were trained on technologies of producing bread, confectioneries and biscuits using composite flour from wheat and cassava.
“The project was a great success. Today, the institute is making another milestone with C:AVA II on introduction and popularising the use of HQCF/wheat composite for confectioneries.
“About 26 confectionery producers were trained in our baking section on commercial production of various products using HQCF composite flour,’’ Elemo said.