Economy Health and Safety

Absence of baking ingredient hampers cassava bread production – Ogbeh

Written by Maritime First

…As Dentist warns Bad breath could lead to gum disease if unchecked***

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says absence of sure-bake yeast, a baking ingredient, in the country was hampering the inclusion of cassava in bread.

Ogbeh said this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

A report saysthat sure-bake yeast is a blend of active dry yeast and bread improver which makes bread-making easier and is recommended for bread-making.

The minister however disclosed that the problem would soon be solved as a U.S.-based Nigerian had agreed to commence the production of the ingredient in the country.

“There are issues with cassava bread which we are trying to resolve now.

“There is something called sure-bake yeast which they say we must add to cassava, otherwise, the bread won’t rise and that has been an issue with the bakers.

“The Nigerian in the U.S. said he would come and produce it here. We have heard that there is a glut of cassava and that is why the farmers are not harvesting now,’’ he said.

The minister noted that government was ready to support the private sector for the production of industrial starch and syrups from cassava.

“We are also moving into high grade industrial starch and syrups, but again, to build those factories, you use stainless steel equipment and they cost money.

“We are talking of five to 10 million dollars to set up such a factory. Nobody can borrow that from a bank in Nigeria and survive.

“That is why we are looking for funds and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is helping to find funds to give people who want to invest in the processing,’’ he said.

The Federal Government under former President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2014, launched the first commercial 10 per cent composite cassava flour in bread.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture, said at the launch that government’s goal was to ensure Nigeria became the largest cassava processor as it had been the largest producer of the commodity in the world. 

In the meantime, a Dentist, Dr Innocent Osazuwa, on Wednesday, said persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum disease.

Osazuwa, a staff of a hospital in Benin, made the disclosure in an interview with the newsmen.

He said “gum disease is caused by buildup of plaque on the teeth caused by bacteria.

“Bacteria causes the formation of toxins which irritates the gum and if gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gum and the jawbone.”

The dentist said that bad breath, also called ‘halitosis’, could be embarrassing and in some cases might even cause anxiety.

He added that “bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odour.

“Cleaning between teeth daily once a day is very important.

“This helps to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line too.

“Tooth decay-causing bacteria still lingers between teeth, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.”

He explained that brushing the teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and replacing toothbrush every three or four
months would help to eliminate bad breath.

He noted that the symptoms of bad breath vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause.

According to him, some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odour, while others have bad breath and do not know it.

He said the causes of bad breath include food, poor dental hygiene, use of tobacco products, the lack of balanced diet, wrong medications,
dry mouth and the lack of drinking water.

He advised anyone with such problem to see a dentist for treatment.

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Maritime First