Who doesn’t know cassava? 

Cassava (Manihot utilissima) are tropical and subtropical annual shrubs of the tribe Euphorbiaceae. Cassava is a useful plant from root tip to leaf tip. The tuber is widely known as a source of carbohydrate food (energy source) and the leaves are used as a source of vegetables. Cassava tubers are a source of energy that is rich in carbohydrates but contain little protein. A good source of protein is found in cassava leaves because it contains the amino acid methionine. 

Cassava is a type of tuber that is most commonly found in Indonesia, so this plant is  familiar to Indonesians. However, it seems that cassava is still often underestimated by many parties. Cassava is often stigmatized as a less classy plant. In fact, cassava actually has a lot of benefits for the body. Quoted from kompasiana.com, the pharmacological effects of cassava are as antioxidants, anti-cancer, and anti-tumor properties. In addition, for people who are on a diet cassava can be a good choice to be consumed because it contains high dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can reduce body weight and provide a longer full effect so that it can maintain ideal body weight.  Dietary fiber is also able to maintain a healthy digestive system, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and can prevent diabetes.

This plant which is closely related to the value of simplicity, has now been transformed into a food commodity that can be processed into a variety of contemporary delicacies, including cassava croissants, cassava ovomaltine cheese, cassava croquettes, crispy cassava, cassava sticks, cassava pie, cassava lasagna, Cassava pizza, cassava ice cream, and others. Generally, cassava tubers are processed by boiling or frying, but with the development of innovation, cassava tubers can be used as a filling snack and can be accepted by many circles, for example processing cassava tubers into cassava brownies, cassava donuts, cassava cake, lemet, cassava pastel, sawut , getuk, tiwul, layers of cassava, tela-tela cassava, cassava chips, and many more processed cassava with the addition of various flavors of sprinkled spices such as balado, cheese, BBQ, roasted corn, and others. 

In the processing of cassava, you need to make sure that it is processed properly. Although the processing can reduce the nutrients contained in cassava, this needs to be done to remove harmful cyanide substances in cassava so that it is safer for consumption. Removal of cyanide substances in cassava tubers can be done by soaking peeled cassava tubers in clean water for 48-60 hours. Then, cook the cassava until it is completely cooked. You can fry, boil, or steam the cassava for at least 25 minutes. These cooking methods are to prevent cyanide poisoning due to consuming raw or undercooked cassava. For a distribution that takes a long time, cassava needs to be processed first into other forms that are more durable, such as cassava (gaplek), tapioca (cassava flour), tapai, peuyeum, chips, and others.

Besides cassava tubers, cassava leaves also have a lot of benefits, including boosting immunity, helping diet, energy sources, antioxidants, and blood booster. In fact the cassava leaves can be processed into unique and interesting dishes, one of which is processing them into sushi. In addition, cassava leaves are also often processed into snacks and the main menu of typical Indonesian dishes that are no less delicious, for example, cassava leaf rollade, cassava leaf balls, tofu contents of cassava leaves, cassava leaf curry, cassava leaves, cassava leaves cooked in coconut milk and others. In its processing, cassava leaves are one of the vegetables that require special treatment because if they are not right, the cassava leaves will become tough, bitter, give off a distinctive unpleasant aroma, and darken in color. However, in fact there are certain techniques commonly used by ancient parents that have proven effective and effective in producing cassava leaves that are not bitter, tender quickly, and not black. First, choose young cassava leaves, then wash them thoroughly under running water. After being selected and cleaned, the cassava leaves are then boiled in boiling water. So that the cassava leaves are soft quickly and the color does not turn black, it is highly recommended to include them when the water is boiling. When boiling, you can add a little salt to neutralize the bitter taste contained in cassava leaves. Leave the lid open so the cassava leaves don’t turn dark and brown. After the cassava leaves turn wilted, drain it and then squeeze it. After that, the cassava leaves are ready to be processed according to your taste.

The benefits of cassava are not only as a consumption plant, but also as an alternative and renewable energy source that can help current environmental problems, namely the processing of cassava into bioethanol. Bioethanol is ethanol made from biomass (plants) through a biological process (enzymatic or fermentation). The raw material for bioethanol can come from biomass sources of starch or carbohydrates, such as cassava, corn, sap, straw, and others. According to Supriyanto (2006), cassava cultivation is more promising as a raw material for bioethanol production compared to other materials due to considerations of aspects of raw material availability, technological aspects, environmental aspects, and commercial aspects.

As a raw material, cassava can be used in fresh form or chips. Basically, the processing of  cassava into ethanol includes starch gelatinization, followed by enzymatic hydrolysis of starch to glucose using -amylase and glucoamylase enzymes (liquefaction and saccharification) which are then fermented into ethanol with the help of yeast or bacteria. In general, ethanol is commonly used as a raw material for alcohol-derived industries, basic materials for the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics and now as a fuel mixture for motor vehicles. Even in a number of crude oil importing countries, they are busy developing bioenergy from cassava to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, which are in short supply and are not renewable.



Supriyanto. 2006. Prospect of Bioethanol Industry Development from Cassava. P. 88-95 In D. Hamowo, Subandi and N. Saleh (ed). Prospects, Strategies and Technology of Cassava Development for Agro-Industry and Food Security. Center for Food Crops Research and Development. Bogor.


Rumah Mocaf Ayuni

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