From lab to life: Making storable orange-fleshed sweetpotato purée a commercial reality

Research in Rwanda demonstrated that orangefleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) purée (steamed, mashed roots) was an economically viable, vitamin A enhancing ingredient in baked products when the purée was produced and used in the same bakery. Having a storable, packaged OFSP purée produced by a firm to supply bakers is an alternative model. Vacuum-packed OFSP purée with preservatives with a fourmonth shelf-life at 23°C was developed by the International Potato Center under laboratory conditions in 2015. Turning it into a commercial reality required developing a publicprivate partnership to establish an OFSP purée-bread value chain. The phases in developing the chain are described. Cost-benefit assessment focuses on two points along the chain: the farmers producing roots for the purée factory and purée production. The first OFSP bread began to be marketed in six Tuskys’ stores in June 2015 at a premium price (5 Ksh above its regular bread), reaching 20 stores by August 2016. OFSP bread was well-received by consumers. Purée production became profitable (18% profit margin) when we shifted from using peeled to unpeeled roots–the new product being a “high fiber” purée. Commercial OFSP purée production has been improved and is poised for profitable, larger-scale output.

Citation: Bocher, T.; Low, J.W.; Muoki, P.; Magnaghi, A.; Muzhingi, T. 2017. From lab to life: Making storable orange-fleshed sweetpotato purée a commercial reality. Open Agriculture. (Poland). ISSN 2391-9531. 2(1):148-154.
Eastern Africa, Middle Africa