Submitted by Dr. Robert Lucas
Dr. Robert D. Lucas
2nd September, 2018
Recently, there has been a hue and cry in the local media about the use of Cassava flour
In the manufacture of baked goods Barbadians seem to want to re-invent the wheel. The use of composite flours (wheaten flours plus cassava flour for examples) in the manufacture of bread has been practiced as early as the 1950’s and 1960’s (Kim JC and de Ruiter D. “Bread from non-Wheat Flours”. Food Technology. 1968. 22:7: 767-787 and “Bread from Composite Flour”.1969. FAO Technical Bulletin.. Indeed in the last century, there was much talk about import substitution, the saving of foreign currency and the development of indigenous agricultural and food–processing industries in developing countries. As a result in 1977 when I started my PH.D research at St. Augustine Campus, composite flour was the buzz word in Barbados. The late Professor of Food Technology, George M. Sammy asked me what area of research I was interested in. I told him that composite flour seemed to be a good idea, since I had already done quite a bit of research on fruit juices and wanted to change my research interest. Prof. Sammy laughed and told me that composite flour had been beaten to a frazzle.
All of the baking conditions for bread from composite flours have documented by Kim and de Ruiter and the FAO Technical bulletin and other more recent publications. A perusal of the literature teaches one how to overcome problems with the loaf volume and dough strength. The ratio of Cassava flour to wheaten flours is also documented.
There has also been some talk about the Ministry of Agriculture doing research on Cassava varieties. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s numerous variety of Cassava were imported from South America for the same purpose that is being talked about today. It seems that we are on a merry go round in this island
Robert D. Lucas, PH.D., CFS.