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Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), is a tuberous root crop native to South America and cultivated by the ancient Incas in Peru. Sweetpotato is one of the ground provisions grown in the Caribbean. Consumers want their sweet potatoes to be sweet. Sweetpotatoes require a postharvest curing to set the skin prior to storage. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of time and temperature on the postharvest sugar content of ten sweetpotato varieties. Soluble sugar content was determined at harvest using a garlic press and refractometer. The tuberous roots were cured at room temperature for five days then place at 40oF, 60oF and room temperature (~80oF). Nine varieties had a soluble sugar content of 4-6% Brix while ‘VIP’ was at 8.5% brix at harvest. The soluble sugar content more than doubled after two weeks of storage. There was only a small change in sugar content between the second and fourth weeks. While all three temperatures resulted in increased sugar content the room temperature and 60oF resulted in higher soluble sugars than 40oF. Postharvest storage of sweetpotato results in a significant increase in sugar content within two weeks. This research was supported by USDANIFA-Regional Hatch.


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