The Cassava: Adding Value for Africa project (CAVA II) recently held a Quality and Production management training for staffs of Open door systems Nigeria limited, Ota, Ogun state and Mury Morrrison Nigeria Limited, Okuku, Osun state.
The training was facilitated by Dr. Louis Abayomi, an expert from Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and CAVA II Nigeria teams namely Dr. A. A. Adebowale and Engr. Adekola Adegoke. The training overview was based on market specification for HQCF, process for achieving HQCF, quality control and quality assurance and good management.
The participants were exposed to the nitty-gritty of efficient quality Control - weighing and scaling, quality control – fresh cassava roots, quality control – peeling and washing, quality control – Grated cassava, Drying, General factory maintenance, Daily Maintenance –Mechanical, Bagging and Storage.
In attendance at the training were Alh. Aderemi Mohammed (the MD of Open door systems Nig. Ltd) and 5 technical staff of the factory including the newly recruited factory manager, Mr. John Bull. Mury Morrrison Nigeria Limited had in attendance several peelers and six staff including their raw materials manager who source the cassava roots for the SME.
The training commenced with inspection of the source of the water being used at the factory for the processing operation. The pH of the water was determined by using pH strips and a pH meter. The factory water source tested okay for human consumption.
The peelers were trained on how to effectively remove the stalk of cassava from the fresh cassava roots as this will increase the fiber content of the final product in the long run. The factory staff was trained on the need to document every part of their production process. A sample of inspection sheet for the peeling operation was distributed to the staff.
The peeled roots were washed while the team observed what was done right and wrong. The team advised prompt washing of the roots or soaking in clean water and warned against unnecessary accumulation of peeled roots which will help reduce colouration of the roots. Colour gives an indication of deterioration, cassava disease, or contamination. The need to always use clean water for washing was emphasized.
Also, factory operators were advised to clean their graters before and after every operation to avoid contamination of fresh batch with unclean debris of their last operation. They were trained on the need to get the grating right as this will have significant effect on the dewatering operation and the overall particle size of their final product.
Moreover, the dewatering operation of the factory was highly commendable as they got the basics for effective pressing right. The wet mash was dished into bags with a regular average weight yielding a pressed wet cake of 10-13kg. The factory was advised to create proper flow for their cassava effluent waste.
Finally, the trainees were exposed to the method of determining key quality indices of HQCF. Visual evaluation of the colour of their flour sample using the colour chart, the colour of the flour should be white. Market quality and consumer acceptability of HQCF is highly influenced by the visual appearance of the product. Colour is a major component of the visual appearance of products therefore an important indicator of quality. ). The trainees appreciated CAVA II project for giving them the opportunity to be at the training exercise.