Kabarak university students invent flour made from grass; Details
4 Kabarak University students invent an innovative way to convert grass into flour which can be used to cook ugali.
The cost of production is 23 Kenyan shillings per kilogram and the retail price will be 35 Kenyan shillings down from the current 100 Kenyan Shillings per Kilogram.
Grass is made of cellulose which can be converted into starch with the help of the enzyme cellulase but human beings don’t have the enzyme cellulase in their system like herbivorous animals.
To start off, they dry grass using sunlight or electricity. They then grind it into a powder which they reffer to as cellulose powder.
They then add the cellulase enzyme into the powder to convert cellulose into starch.
The resulting powder has to undergo the iodine test for starch. It looks like maize floor and when cooked, it tastes just like ugali.
They stated,”Yes, we harvest grass and turn it into edible starch. We started with numerous trials and errors to establish what would work. Sometimes we would get glucose instead of starch.”
“Human beings don’t have the cellulase enzyme to break down cellulose. We add water and enzymes to the mix, and cellulose is converted to amylose – almost similar to the starch found in maize,” they added.
Their research comes moments after the head of state, President William Ruto declared that this year’s jamhuri day will be themed as an “ Innovative Jamhuri.”