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Performance and Acceptability of Legume-Fortified Yam Flours

Food Science and Quality Management
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Yam (Dioscoreasp.) is an annual climbing plant with edible underground tubers which is a major staple of many African and Asian countries. About 52 million tonnes of yam was produced globally in 2007, with 96% from West African (IITA, 2009). Yam has the highest calories provided per hectare when compared with other starchy tubers such as cassava and potatoes. Yam is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fibre and some minerals. Yams are usually consumed boiled, roasted, fried or pounded. The tubers are stored in-between harvests for later use which is characterized by changes in wholesomeness which may result from poor handling, wound repair, diseases, and pests infestations. Also due to its high moisture content (50- 80%), large size, and high respiration rates, it is highly perishable. Hence yam tubers are lost after 4-5 months of storage, thus causing a yearly cycle of huge post- harvest losses. In Ghana, post- harvest losses of yam have been reported to range from 10% to 50%. Although West Africa produces about 94% of the world’s yam, yams have not been processed to any significant extent commercially. However due to similarity in composition of yam to crops like potato,yams could be processed into ready to eat foods like chips, crisps flakes and fries to increase their commercial value. They can also be processed into flours for instant foods (e.g. porridge, fufu, mpotonpoton (yam porridge that is spiced with palm oil added)). Fortifying yam flours with legumes such as soyabean and cowpeas could further enhance their commercial value as the fortified products could be used for complementary feeding. This study therefore developed legume-fortified yam flours to enhance their nutritional level as well as extend the shelf-life of yam. The results showed that the blends were acceptable to trained sensory panellists at baseline and also at six months. The products were also nutritionally enhanced, and could therefore be used for complementary feeding. Keywords:Yams, Post-harvest Losses, Value-addition, Legume-fortified flours

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