Sensory guided selection criteria for breeding consumer-preferred sweetpotatoes in Uganda

Prioritizing sensory attributes and consumer evaluation early in breeding trials to screen for end-user preferred traits could improve adoption rates of released genotypes. In this study, a lexicon and protocol for descriptive sensory analysis (DSA) was established for sweetpotato and used to validate an instrumental texture method for which critical values for consumer preference were set. The study comprised several phases: lexicon development during a 4-day workshop; 3-day intensive panel training; follow-up virtual training, evaluation of 12 advanced genotypes and 101 additional samples from two trials in 2021 by DSA and instrumental texture analysis using TPA double compression; and DSA, instrumental texture analysis and consumer acceptability tests on 7 genotypes in on-farm trials. The established sweetpotato lexicon comprising 27 sensory attributes enabled characterization and differentiation of genotypes by sensory profiles. Significant correlation was found between sensory firmness by hand and mouth with TPA peak positive force (r = 0.695 and r = 0.648, respectively) and positive area (r = 0.748, r = 0.715, respectively). D20, NAROSPOT 1, NASPOT 8, and Umbrella were the most liked genotypes in on-farm trials (overall liking = 7). An average peak positive force of 3700 gf was proposed as a minimum texture value for screening sweetpotato genotypes, since it corresponded with at least 46 % of consumers perceiving sweetpotatoes as just-about-right in firmness and a minimum overall liking of 6 on average. Combining DSA with instrumental texture analysis facilitates efficient screening of genotypes in sweetpotato breeding programs.

Citation: Nakitto, M.; Johanningsmeier, S. D.; Moyo, M.; Bugaud, C.; de Kock, H.; Dahdouh, L.; Forestier-Chiron, N.; Ricci, J.; Khakasa, E.; Ssali, R. T.; Mestres, C.; Muzhingi, T. 2022. Sensory guided selection criteria for breeding consumer-preferred sweetpotatoes in Uganda. Food Quality and Preference. ISSN 1873-6343. 101. 15 p.
Eastern Africa