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The consumption of low cyanide content is not lethal but long-term intake could cause severe health problems. This study assessed the cyanide levels, proximate composition, perception and consumption pattern of cassava leaf varieties in three communities in Southern Nigeria. Fresh cassava leaf samples (TMS 01/1368, Meotoré, B693, Jokojéu, TMS 30572 and a local variety) collected from six designated farms were analyzed for free, total and bound cyanide content and questionnaires were administered to gather information on demographic features of residents, pattern of consumption, knowledge of cyanide related symptoms, diseases or benefits, and perception of its use as food. Besides the average high moisture content of the cassava leaf samples (65.66±1.31), the mean values of crude protein (27.07±0.70) and fibre (13.48±0.23) were higher than fat (7.85±0.38) and ash (8.38±0.66) contents. Fresh tender leaves showed higher cyanide values than the older leaves. The mean age of respondents who consumes the leaves was 41.5±11.1, 53.6% were farmers and 76.1% were married; while 55.6% had at least primary education. Respondents (97.1%), reported using younger tender leaves to cook, 75.5% reported using any variety to cook (regardless of the cyanogenic nature) and 48.9% used cassava leaves for herbal preparations. Farmers (86.6%) had experienced ill-health after consuming improperly processed leaves, but 15% have had a goiter family history. There are risks of cyanide related diseases / poisoning due to extensive consumption of various cassavas improperly processed leaves. Therefore, an urgent intervention is needed to protect the health of the consumers of the leaves.
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