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Oven drying and hot water cooking processes decrease HCN contents of cassava leaves

Modesto Junior, Elivaldo Nunes, Chisté, Renan Campos, Pena, Rosinelson da Silva
Food research international 2019
acidity, boiling, carbohydrates, cassava, cooking, drying, hydrogen cyanide, leaves, lipids, ovens, pH, protein content, temperature, thermal degradation, water activity, Amazonia, Brazil
The aim of this work was to study the effects of temperature and time of oven drying and hot water cooking processes on HCN (hydrocyanic acid) degradation of cassava leaves as a contribution for obtaining a safe product for human consumption. Nine varieties of cassava leaves collected in the Amazonian region of Brazil (Pará State) were characterized regarding moisture, pH, total acidity, ashes, total lipids, total protein, water activity, carbohydrates, total energetic value and HCN contents. The leaves of the three cassava varieties, which presented the highest HCN contents, were submitted to the thermal degradation of HCN, under drying and boiling conditions. All the leaves presented similar physicochemical characteristics and the HCN contents varied from 90.6 to 560.9 mg HCN/kg fresh leaves (total HCN) and from 16.6 to 59.2 mg HCN/kg fresh leaves (free HCN). Thermal degradation studies on HCN showed that the drying and boiling processes were effective on total HCN removal after 180 min. Furthermore, a remarkable decrease in HCN contents was observed after 20 min of boiling. Regarding free HCN, the drying method was more effective than boiling, showing high degradation percentages: 74.1%–92.2% to 1.1%–72.4%, respectively.