The separation of the tapioca starch processing granules from the tuber in as pure a form as possible is essential in the manufacture of cassava flour. The granules are locked in cells together with all the other constituents of the protoplasm (proteins, soluble carbohydrates, fats and so on), which can only be removed by a purification process in the watery phase. Processing the starch can therefore be divided into the following stages:
Tapioca starch processing line
1. Preparation and extraction. Crushing of tapioca cells and separation of the granules from other insoluble matter (i.e.' adhering dirt and cell-wall material) including the preparatory operations of washing and peeling the roots, rasping them and straining the pulp with the addition of water.
2. Purification. Substitution of pure water for the aqueous solution surrounding the tapioca starch granules in the mash obtained in the first stage, as well as the operations of sedimentation and the washing of the starch in tanks and on flour tables, silting, centrifuging, etc.
3. Removal of water by centrifuging and drying.
4. Finishing. Grinding, bolting and other finishing operations.
This method of cassava processing is essential in the preparation of any kind of starch. For tapioca, however, because of the relatively small amount of secondary substances, the separation at each stage is performed with great ease. Whereas with maize and other cereals the grinding of the seed and the mechanical separation of the germ and the pericarp from the grain present special problems in stage 1, and the separation of protein and other constituents in stage 2 can only be accomplished with the aid of chemicals, these operations can be reduced to a minimum in cassava preparation. It is indeed possible to obtain a first-rate flour from the cassava root without special equipment by using only pure water. This makes the processing of cassava flour particularly suitable for rural industries.
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