by Rachel Ogbu
This is one premier no one is eager to attend. The repackaging of UTC’s Starloaf cassava bread will be officially launched on Thursday, November 26, 2012- this time with even more cassava.
Foluso Olaniyan, Managing Director of UTC, said the company will officially launch the rebranded, improved and export-quality cassava bread, with higher level of cassava inclusion.
She explained the UTC cassava bread had not been on the shelf in the market in the past two months because the company took a little break. “The launching of Starloaf cassava bread in the first quarter of the year put a strain on our equipment output, hence the need to fast-track routine maintenance by two months, on the advice of our engineers. During the period of maintenance, we did not produce Starloaf. But now, the Starloaf is back, this time with additional quality and with a higher inclusion level of high quality cassava flour (HQCF),” she said.
According to her, a new 200 grammes kiddies loaf is added to the 400grammes sliced loaf which was already in the market. The additional product came after a routine maintenance.
The new, improved loaves apparently, are made to international standards; kiddies’ loaf with tamper proof packaging; batch numbers for traceability; ‘best before’ dates to protect consumers and in still consumers’ confidence; barcode for scanning purposes in retail outlets and increased cassava flour inclusion, to reduce the intake of gluten by gluten-intolerant consumers and to discuss concerns expressed in glycaemic index of wheat flour by health-conscious consumers.
Olaniyan added that the company decided to step back and improve on the quality and delivery standard of the cassava bread because they realised the products were tasted and commended by presidents and heads of governments of some countries who visited the president.
“We are also looking at exporting them to neighbouring African countries to support government’s advocacy of cassava usage as raw materials for bread and other food products.”
Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development expressed optimism that Nigeria, the world’s largest cassava producer, could also become a leading processor of the produce.