Isaac Yaw Opoku
THE MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Offinso South, Isaac Yaw Opoku, has advised entrepreneurs to establish factories in cocoa growing regions to process cocoa waste into by-products.
Making reference to government’s flagship 1D1F programme, he said products such as cocoa bitters produced from cocoa alcohol and cocoa roots had proven to be safe and contain higher aphrodisiac properties, intimating that the products from cocoa waste have been assessed in terms of their quality, nutrition, texture, appearance and shelf life.
Making the statement on the Floor of Parliament recently, the MP said six of such products had passed quality assessment of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and had been duly registered with the Food and Drugs Authority, adding that the remaining ones were at various stages of registration.
He said the products, also, had been assessed and found to be commercially viable, saying, “From pilot scale production and marketing, CRIG has reported that the products have promising internal and external markets.”
According to him, the commercial utilisation of cocoa by-products could generate additional income to make cocoa farming attractive to the youth.
He said the by-products, which included cocoa nibs, powder and shell, were a huge source of raw materials for industrialisation and could be used to produce antioxidants which were extracted using methanol, petroleum ether and chloroform as solvents.
The MP said cocoa pod husk (CPH) was also a traditional source of alkali and could be used in the manufacturing of liquid soap, soft soap and fertilisers.
“The by-products of cocoa can also be used as natural antioxidants,” he stated, and added that the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) had conducted extensive research into the use of these by-products with some amazing results.
“Mr. Speaker, some incredible array of quality products has been developed from the otherwise waste materials. These include wine, whisky, brandy, jam, vinegar, marmalade, liquid soap, soft soap, bitters, pectin, animal feed, fertiliser and antioxidants,” the MP indicated.
“It is gratifying to know that similar products have also been developed from the other mandated crops i.e. shea, cashew, coffee and kola,” he pointed out, and added that every year over the 10-year-old period, a potential of 2,875,174 metric tonnes of CPH and 557,869.6 metric tonnes of sweating went waste.
He called for research into business opportunities, intimating that the country must make conscious efforts to ensure that a strong link existed between research and industry.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House