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

Temesgen Bocher / Jan W. Low / Penina Muoki / Antonio Magnaghi / Tawanda Muzhingi
  • International Potato Center (CIP), Food and Nutritional Evaluation Laboratory, BecA Hub ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2017-04-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0014


Research in Rwanda demonstrated that orange-fleshed 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 four-month 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 public-private 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.

Keywords : orange-fleshed sweetpotato; purée; value chain; storage; viability; vacuum-packing; food safety; vitamin A; carotenoids


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About the article

Received: 2016-12-11

Accepted: 2017-02-21

Published Online: 2017-04-05

Published in Print: 2017-02-01

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 148–154, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0014.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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