Can Biofortified Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato Make Commercially Viable Products and Help in Combatting Vitamin A Deficiency?

Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A are one of the least expensive sources of dietary vitamin A in Sub-Saharan Africa, where most sweetpotato is consumed as boiled or steamed roots. One major question is how its use can be expanded among urban African consumers. In many urban centers, access to fresh roots is principally at the wet-markets, thus precluding many high-end urban consumers. One solution is to develop products incorporating OFSP into products typically consumed by middle-class consumers (such as bakery products) that can supply significant amounts of vitamin A. Viable products must have production costs equal to or lower than the equivalent product without OFSP and consumers must like their taste compared to regular products. Sweetpotato can replace upto 50% of wheat-flour in bakery products, depending on product and local tastes. In Rwanda, we produced four products in collaboration with a commercial bakery, using different combinations of ingredients: wheat-flour only; mixture of wheat-flour and OFSP-flour; and mixture of wheat-flour and OFSP-puree. Sensory consumer tests and analysis of data using means, t-tests, and ordered-logit, showed that bread made out of a mix of 30% OFSP-puree and 70% wheat-flour was preferred to that made of 100% wheat-flour. Consumers showed no preference between doughnuts and queen cakes made from 100% wheat-flour and those with mix of 60% wheat-flour and 40% OFSP-puree. Biscuits made of 40% OFSP-puree and 60% wheat-flour were preferred to those made with 100% wheat-flour. Therefore, the OFSP-based products were acceptable to Rwandan consumers.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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