Golden Gari (OFSP+Cassava-mix)

Beta-carotene analysis in OFSP Gari from Ghana:

End of Project Report (June 2017), “Jumpstarting OFSP in West Africa through Diversified Markets” submitted by CIP to BMGF

Reported by:

Project Investigator: Ted Carey;  Project Manager: Erna Abidin for Jumpstarting OFSP project for West Africa.


Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) is a versatile root crop and it can be processed into diverse food products. Ghana is the fifth largest producer of cassava in the world. Cassava is one of the staple foods in Ghana and about 25% of harvested cassava roots are processed into gari (Kemausuor et al., 2015). Gari in Ghana is produced for both local consumption and export. Despite gari from white cassava being an important staple food, it is a poor source of Vitamin A, and thus supplementation with OFSP rich in beta-carotene could be vital in pivoting it as food source for combating Vitamin A deficiency in Ghana and other SSA countries (Egbi, 2012). The analysis aimed at determining the amount of beta carotene and vitamin A activity in Gari with 70% OFSP puree from Ghana.


Gari with 70% OFSP puree was processed on 14/2/2017 by Darkey’s daughter in Ghana and received from Edward Carrey on 16/2/2017 while packaged in a black polythene bag. The sample was stored in -20°C prior to analysis. The moisture content of the sample was determined by moisture content analyzer. β-carotene analysis was determined by saponification of the ground sample with 80% KOH, hexane extractions and HPLC analysis. The analysis was done in CIP-FANEL-BeCA.


The mean dry matter content of Gari with 70% OFSP puree was 94.4%. Another study by Bamidele et al. (2014) has reported similar results of low moisture content (7.3-7.8%) in gari produced from cassava and cocoyam. The low moisture content in gari is important for its keeping quality. Beta-carotene content (on dry matter basis) and retinol equivalents for the sample are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Beta-carotene content (mg/100g DW) and Vitamin A equivalents (RAE, µg/100g) in OFSP Gari with 70% OFSP puree

β-carotene isomers 13-cis-β-carotene All trans-β-carotene 9-cis-β-carotene
β-carotene (mg/100g) 1.8±0.1 4.6±0.1 1.0±0.0
RAE (µg/100g) 75 383.3 41.7

The amount of beta-carotene in OFSP gari with 70% OFSP puree equaled to 500 µg/100g Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE). Serving 100g of OFSP gari with 70% OFSP puree is sufficient in providing Vitamin A body requirements to children between 1 and 3 years (167%) and school going children aged 4 to 8 years (125%). The same amount can provide about 65% of VA body requirement in pregnant women and 38% to lactating mothers.

Conclusion and Recommendation

OFSP puree can be important in improving nutritional qualities of gari. However, analytical studies with a control sample (gari without OFSP) should be done to identify whether supplementation of OFSP puree influences the composition of other nutritional components such as the protein, fat, ash and fiber.

Valuable information regarding Golden Gari being a good diet for people living with diabetes can be read here.


  • Egbi, G. (2012). Prevalence of vitamin a, zinc, iodine deficiency and anemia among 2-10 year- old Ghanaian children. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 12 (2): 5947-5958
  • Kemausuor, F., Addo, A., Darkwah, L. (2015). Technical and Socioeconomic Potential of Biogas from Cassava Waste in Ghana. Biotechnology Research International, 2015.


There is no conflict of interests from the admin of the RA4D NGO to publish this Gari information. The report was originally from the Jumpstarting OFSP project which was initially prepared by Ted Carey and Erna Abidin aimed at reporting it to BMGF as end of project report. These two scientists were the leaders of the project and now, both are the founders of this RA4D NGO. From that, the RA4D NGO is willing to scale this Gari information out. So that, we can reach many more people who will get benefits from this nutritious food, ‘Gari’. Indeed, this special Gari is made from orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) and cassava. We hope that many small-medium scale business people will be interested in this new nutritious product but traditional food from West Africa. Therefore, they will include this nutritious Gari as part of their business in the OFSP value chains in Ghana and elsewhere.

We sincerely acknowledge: CGIAR-CIP, BMGF, the daughter of Mr. E. Darkey, and Dr. Tawanda Muzhingi.

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