PROCESSING MACHINERY AND PLANT

In the last three decades, notable advances have been made in the design and fabrication of garri processing machines. The old methods of garri processing involved hand grating cassava roots, dewatering cassava mash by placing the bag containing grated cassava mash in-between poles tied together with heavy ropes to exert sufficient pressure to squeeze the water out. Heavy planks and stones were also used for dewatering while frying was done by women and children in earthenware pots in highly smoky environments. These unit operations were very laborious and time wasting and exposed the processors to many health risks including physical injuries from hand graters and heavy stones that fell off from bags of cassava mash being pressed.

New and more efficient machines are now available for cassava processing into garri and other products. More efficient and high capacity cassava graters, hydraulic operated dewatering machines (pressers), and stoves with stainless steel fryers and chimney, etc. have been developed. In addition, harvesters, fresh cassava peelers, mechanical fryers, etc. have been introduced in the last eight years.

The availability of different types of machines of varying capacities for garri processing has increased the efficiency of mechanized garri processing operations. The mechanized operation has significantly reduced labor input, processing time, and health risks for processors. It has also increased the quality of garri, the output of garri per unit time and flexibility in terms of scale of operation for investment in garri processing plants and machinery.

QUALITY AND SAFETY FACTORS

ACTIVITY MEASURES TO ENSURE QUALITY & SAFETY RESPONSIBLE PERSON
Sorting We select healthy cassava roots for processing and discard infected cassava roots. ENOW MARCELINE TAKANG
Peeling We peel the cassava roots with clean stainless knives and remove the woody tips. We ensure that the cassava peels are completely removed to ensure that low fibres and white color of the finish products. ENOW MARCELINE TAKANG
Washing We wash peeled cassava roots thoroughly with clean water to removes pieces of peels, sand and other dirts. Pieces of clean cloths and used sacks can also be used to facilitate washing. ENOW MARCELINE TAKANG
Grating Grate cassava roots in clean stainless steel grater (food grade machine) to obtain uniformly smooth mash. We will ensure the mash is uniform and smooth without lumps. In case of non-uniform mash, grate again until smooth mash is obtained. The smoothness of the mash determines the quality, yield and market value of the High Quality Cassava Flour. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Pressing The mash is loaded into sacks and pressed to remove as much moisture as possible. Pressing will be done immediately after grating to avoid the onset of fermentation. Sacks would not be used for too long to prevent bursting during pressing. The press and the pressing area will be kept very clean with good drainage system for safe disposal of the effluent to avoid environmental pollution and public health hazards. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Cake Break-ing/Sieving Cake breaking will be done using clean hands followed by sieving with non rusting sifter into clean basins. Sifter made of stainless steel material will be preferable. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Drying Drying of the disintegrated/sifted cake in the dryer to reduce moisture level to acceptable level according to required standards. Sun drying, use of mechanical or solar dryer will be employed to reduce the moisture. Sun drying should be carried out by spreading the sifted mash on an elevated platform to prevent dust and other dirt from contaminating the drying product. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Testing for moisture content The fined garri will be tested for moisture content using a tester. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Packaging Garri Only Garri that passes the 8% to 12% moisture content will be packaged. Garri will be packaged in clean sacks without holes and rips. Sacks will be sealed via sewing to avoid entry of pests. JONATHAN NDASI NKOM
Weighing of Garri Garri in bags will be weighed using calibrated weighing scales. Each sack will contain 5kg, 10kg, 25kg, and 50kg determining on the clients. Weight and number of sacks including date of processing will be recorded in inventory logbook. Date processed will be indicated on the sacks. TABOT HANNAH MANDA
Storage of Garri Garri will be stored in clean, well lit storage areas. The sacks will be placed on top of pallets, off the flour and away from the walls. Proper sacking will be observed to facilitate easy monitoring, minimize risk of falling off, and proper ventilation. ‘First in, First Out’ will be observed in the release of the sacks of garri. TABOT HANNAH MANDA

All cassava wastes are immediately cleaned within the factory. Workers wear protective clothing, ear and eye protectors. We use clean water to wash our cassava roots. The factory is regularly infected to kill rates and rodents. Buckets and bags are cleaned regularly. All machines have a tag to indicate danger and not allowed to operate by untrained personnel.

Our garri is safe and suitable for human consumption, and free from abnormal flavors, odors, and living insects. Our garri is free from filth (impurities of animal origin, including dead insects) in amounts which may represent a hazard to human health.

Generally, total hydrocyanic acid content of our garri does not exceed 10 mg/kg while total fiber and ash doesn’t exceed 2% m/m and 2.7% m/m, respectively. The maximum moisture content of garri is 10% while a total acidity of 0.6−1.0 % m/m is acceptable. For the purposes of export or long-distance marketing, lower moisture limits may be required for certain destinations depending on the climate, packaging method, duration of transport, and storage.

Our Cooperative produces high quality garri and water fufu from matured fresh cassava roots which is 10 to 12 months production. The fresh cassava roots must be free of rot, damaged parts and no evidence of pest infections. The newly harvested cassava roots are processed within two days after harvested in order to avoid decay and internal decomposition.

Garri 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. Garri 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 to1.1 mm depending on the method of production and the preferences of the targeted consumers.

The quality of our garri is base on its safety and fitness for use by the target customers.  In order to satisfy the taste of our customers, we integrate quality into the processing operations in order to build quality into the high quality garri. In so doing we are able to attract more customers and remain competitive in the market place. Customers have various indices by which they judge the quality of garri. These include taste (acidity or sourness), swelling capacity, color, texture, crispiness, and absence of foreign matter (cleanliness). The garri 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, garri with a smooth texture is preferred. Garri must be crispy or very crispy and should have no sand particles, black specks, or residual peels in it.

Our emphasis is on the quality and safety of our garri and to protect the health of consumers. In 2022, we are putting in place a quality management system in the production operations. The following step-by-step guide for quality management should be strictly adhered during garri processing. (1) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP); and (2) compliance with a Hazard Analysis Critical quality certificate and registering the management practices used in the production process for garri.

Garri particle size: Our garri has a uniform particle size as much as possible and about 80% of the particle ranges between 0.25 mm to 1.50 mm. On visual examination, our garri is described as extra fine, fine, medium or coarse.

Extra fine Garri has particle size 0.25 mm to 0.5 mm. 100% by weight shall easily pass through a sieve of 0.5 mm aperture size but of which not less than 40% by weight shall easily pass through sieve of 0.25 mm aperture size.

Fine Garri has particle size 0.5 mm to 1 mm. 100% by weight shall easily pass through a sieve of 1 mm aperture size but of which not less than 40% by weight shall easily pass through sieve of 0.5 mm aperture size.

Medium size Garri has particle size 1 mm to 1.25 mm. 100% by weight shall easily pass through a sieve of 1.25 mm aperture size but of which not less than 40% by weight shall easily pass through sieve of 1 mm aperture size.

Our Coarse Garri is milled grading into various sizes.

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