BRIN Pushes Cassava-based Food Diversification to Anticipate Food Crisis
30 November 2022 06:03 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is encouraging the community to diversify cassava-based foods to reduce rice consumption in order to anticipate the threat of a global food crisis.
"Apart from the many types and availability (of cassava), this tuber is a source of carbohydrates. Thus, the tuber can be a substitute for rice, which we have been using as our daily staple food," a researcher from BRIN’s Research Center for Food Technology and Processing, Yuniar Khasanah, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Considering the high consumption of rice and wheat in Indonesia, the diversification of cassava-based foods could reduce the use of and limit imports of the commodities, she informed.
Furthermore, cassava is also considered to have better nutritional composition and an easier cultivation process compared to rice.
Currently, rice is still the main source of carbohydrates for most residents in Indonesia, Khasanah noted. However, the area under agricultural land is increasingly shrinking. Hence, it may lead to a food crisis if people continue to depend on rice as their main food source.
Thus, the Indonesian people are expected to reduce their consumption of rice and switch to other sources of carbohydrates such as cassava, sweet potato, and other tubers to anticipate the crisis.
Khasanah and her team have conducted research on tubers to develop delicious food products, which are safe for health, especially for people with diabetes.
One of BRIN's innovations from tubers is modified cassava flour or mocaf, which is a gluten-free flour made from cassava and can be consumed by people with diabetes.
"When we conduct (food) diversification from cassava, we also consider the potential health benefits of processed cassava products. So far, we have been developing anti-diabetic potential of cassava and other tuber products," the researcher informed.
Several domestic food companies have started to use mocaf to make superior products, she added.
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