Sand storage, extending the shelf-life of fresh sweetpotato roots for home consumption and market sales.

Uni-modal rainfall pattern has long dry spell wherein sweetpotato is scarce, expensive but cheap at harvest. The crop is mostly consumed, processed or sold. Extending shelf-life of roots is crucial for Malawi and Northern Ghana as the crop has high value. Trials were conducted in the countries at the community level. In the dry season, temperature is cool in Malawi while warm in Ghana, but thru harmattan, the night is cool with low relative humidity. In Malawi, orange-fleshed sweetpotato Zondeni var., white and yellow types were assessed in three types of storage, Afghan ventilated pit store, storage in dry sand of pit-steps, and of a granary.
In Ghana, local moistened heap and sandbox were compared. In Malawi, weight losses were calculated relative to the quantity stored
at start, it was not cumulative. At 1.5 months no significant difference was among treatments. By 3.5 months the pit-steps method
emerged to be superior and continued to 6.5 months. Losses in granary were due to shriveling, in the pit-stepsdue to termites and rats,
and in ventilated pit due to termites, rats and Java black rot. Sprouting was high in pit-steps, but it was simply removed and roots
returned to storage. At 6.5 months, the beta-carotene of Zondeni roots was traceable. Farmers gained high price when selling them as
roots were scarce. Women favored the pit-steps because it was manageable. In Ghana, the sandbox was superior to local moistened
heap. Methods designed were suitable for home consumption, but will require modification for commercialization.

Citation: Abidin, P.E.; Kazembe, J.; Atuna, R.A.; Amagloh, F.K.; Asare, K.; Dery, E.K.; Carey, E.E. 2016. Sand storage, extending the shelf-life of fresh sweetpotato roots for home consumption and market sales. Journal of Food Science and Engineering. ISSN 2159-5828. 6:227-236.
2016-10-18
SOCIAL AND NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES SNS, SWEETPOTATO AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS, SWEETPOTATOES
AFRICA, Western Africa
GHANA, MALAWI

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