Taste tests being conducted on new varieties of sweet potato
December 6, 2013
Taste tests being conducted on new varieties of sweet potato

CARDI, in collaboration with IICA and the Ministry of Agriculture, continues to look at ways to increase the value of sweet potatoes grown here.{{more}}

Through a project now being implemented dubbed “Multiplying and Evaluating Roots and Tubers, in particular Cassava, Sweet Potato and Yam varieties suitable for value addition”, a series of Sensory Analysis tests (taste tests) are being held at various locations to determine the acceptability of new varieties of sweet potato among consumers for the making of potato chips and as a staple in the diet.

The taste tests are being done in at least 10 locations, including government ministries, schools, farming communities and supermarkets.

Coordinator of this activity Wendy Michael, Food Technologist in the Mnistry of Agriculture, says that five varieties of sweet potato are being used to test for acceptablility to colour, texture, taste and overall appearance. She indicated that the locations and participants have been carefully chosen, in an effort to create early awareness and thus the marketing potential of the local product. The testings started on Thursday, November 28 and will come to an end on Friday, December 13.

Dr Gregory Robin, country representative of CARDI, has indicated that the purpose of the tests is to identify the varieties most suited for processing and, by extension, increase the production of the variety and or varieties chosen for commercial purposes. The remaining taste tests will be held at some of the local supermarkets, where the general public is being asked to participate.