Garri is one of the most profitable and consumed cassava products in Africa. The staple food has high fibre and carbohydrate content which are nutrients that offer numerous benefits to the body in the areas of digestion and energy.
In this step by step guide on garri processing, you’ll learn how to make garri in large amounts whether you’re a small business owner looking to start a business in the area or a student looking for research information.
If you want to know exactly how this popular food is made, you can also follow up as these steps have been simplified for easy understanding.
Garri Processing: Step by Step Guide
Before you can begin to process garri from cassava, you’ll need to have harvested the cassava roots.
Materials Needed For Garri Processing
- Harvested cassava roots
- Basins for washing and packing washed roots
- Washing water
- Stainless knives for peeling
- Sacks for fermenting cassava mash
- Fuel for roasting or toasting
- Packaging materials for the finished product
Equipment Needed For Garri Processing
- Cassava grater
- Cassava press
- Garri toaster/Garri roaster/Garrifyer
- Sealing and stitching machines
- Weighing scale
- Mechanical sifter
- Fermenting trough
Steps in Garri Processing
Ensure that the cassava roots you want to use are not rotten or damaged. Only healthy cassava roots should be used when making garri.
Peel the roots of the cassava and remove the skin. Ensure that you use only clean stainless steel knives during this process to avoid contaminating the roots. The rind of the cassava should be completely removed and avoid shaving the roots because you’ll cut off too much and waste the roots. This reduces the amount of garri that can be produced with cassava roots.
Instead of peeling by hand, you can opt for mechanical peelers. These peelers are mostly used in medium to large scale processing and could be very expensive to purchase, however, they get the work done faster and cleaner.
The peeled roots should be sorted to ensure that there are no damaged or unhealthy roots among them. When done, they should be washed with clean water at least twice to remove dirt particles and pieces of peels that stick to them.
Ensure that the water used in washing the roots is not containment and that it does not come from an open source. After washing, you should scrub the roots with a scourer to remove any dirt that wasn’t washed off by the water and pieces of unpeeled skin.
Ensure that the washed roots are completely clean with no spots before moving on to the next step.
Grating the cassava roots is an important step that makes it safe to eat. Grating helps to remove the cyanide present in the cassava roots which could lead to several health problems if consumed.
There are traditional graters which are less expensive, however, they are labor-intensive and too slow to use. They also rust quickly and could contaminate the cassava.
For the grating process, a motorized grater with a stainless steel grating drum should be used. It is important to use a motorized grater that has its grating drum and all food contact areas made from stainless steel as stainless steel is less likely to rust.
The washed roots should be loaded into the grater while the engine is running. Ensure that the mash that comes out of the grater is very smooth if not, grate again till you achieve a smooth mash.
Achieving a smooth mash is important as it determines the quality, yield and market value of the finished garri
The mash should be collected in a clean bowl and poured into a clean polythene sack.
De-watering and Fermenting
De-watering and Fermenting are done to remove the cyanide from the cassava roots completely. For this process, you’ll require a fermentation rack and a hydraulic press or screw press.
The bags of cassava mash should be loaded on the fermentation rack to allow the milky water to drain freely from the bags. They should be left here for two or more days.
The next step is to load the bags on the hydraulic press. Lift and press the jack handle up and down until it becomes difficult to move. This process should be repeated severally each day until no more water comes out of the bag.
By this time, the mash in the bag then becomes a firm wet cake.
The fermenting and de-watering process aims to remove a sufficient amount of water from the mash and not all the water in the mash. If you too much water is removed, the garri will not cook properly during roasting, however, if a sufficient amount of water is not removed, the garri will form lumps during roasting.
Breaking / Sieving
The cassava wet cake should be removed from the bag and broken into small pieces using a grater or sieve.
The roasting tray should first be cleaned to avoid contamination. During roasting, the grits should be continuously stirred with a wooden spatula. When the garri becomes dry, creamy granules, it should be collected in a clean basin.
Ensure that the fire is hot enough to cook the garri, also try to make sure it is not too hot or the garri will burn.
The color of the garri usually depends on the type of cassava roots it is made from. Garri made from yellow cassava roots will be yellow, however, it can be fried with palm oil to attain that yellow color.
Cooling and Sieving
The garri should be allowed to cool to room temperature and then sieved to obtain granules of uniform size. The large granules obtained during sieving can be broken into smaller ones through the use of a grinder.
Bagging / Storing
Garri granules of the same size are then bagged and weighed. Weighing the garri is very important so as to sell the correct weight required by the market.
The bags of garri should be on a raised platform and kept in a cool, dry place. Doing so boosts the longevity of the garri and garri kept in these conditions can last for up to a year without losing its nutritious value.
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