Cyanide contents of locally processed cassava based products (CBP) in Ilorin-West urban markets, Nigeria was estimated and compared to established safety levels. Hence, 29 locally processed cassava products samples were randomly collected from retail outlets and tested for hydrogen cyanide content, pH, titratable acidity (TTA), water absorption capacity (WAC) and least gelation capacity (LGC) following standard procedures. Results from the survey showed that hydrogen cyanide contents of the CBP ranged from 3.36 to 37.73 mg/kg. Titratable acidity ranged between 0.22 and 1.79 × 10-3 (% w/w); the pH of the samples was between 4.55 and 6.75; WAC ranged from 1.46 to 5.82 g/ml, while the LGC was from 8.07 to 38.08%. Twenty five out of the 29 CBP samples collected had hydrogen cyanide content above the maximum safe level (10 mg/kg), the TTA was low, while the pH was high. These problems might be due to poor processing methods adopted by the processors. Continuous exposure of consumers to sub-lethal dose of hydrogen cyanide may lead to serious health hazards.
Key words: Cassava, cyanide, Ilorin, market, survey.
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