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Report of on-line discussion on: “challenges and solution to scale-up OFSP PUREE FOR BREADMAKING”



Presented By:




Department of Food Science & Technology

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria


  • Introduction


The topic was launched on 3rd July, 2016 via the Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal at and the discussion lasted till September 2016. A brief context for the discussion forum was presented as below (1.1). Prior to the launch, the moderator, Ganiyat Olatunde presented the introduction to the group leaders Madjaliwa Nzamwita and Francis Amagloh as well as to CIP communication specialist Christine Bukania for vetting. Their contributions greatly improved the introduction and resulted in the context presented as follows:


1.1 Brief context for the discussion forum


The possibility of utilizing orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) puree in baked products particularly bread has been demonstrated and reported at SPHI Marketing, Processing and Utilization (MPU) Community-of-Practice (CoP) meetings. Some of the advantages that have been highlighted particularly when compared to bread containing OFSP flour include bread with improved beta-carotene content, better loaf properties such as texture and volume, as well as consumer sensory acceptance of colour and taste. Other advantages include cost savings on wheat flour, and energy savings involved in drying OFSP to the flour. You will agree with me that not much of these reports have been published in journals available online.  In spite of the potentials of using OFSP puree, the uptake of this technology by commercial bakers has not been encouraging. Two major challenges that have been identified are (1) non-availability of OFSP puree in ready-to-use form and (2) difficulty of storage with respect to retaining its quality over a minimum period of at least 6 months.


In order to find a solution to these challenges, this forum and your participation will be crucial in gathering information on the topic.


Discussion questions:


  1. Awareness about OFSP puree as an important ingredient in bread making.


* Is there enough information about level of awareness of OFSP puree as an important ingredient in bread making particularly amongst commercial bakers?

*Is there a need to document current level of awareness in each of the Sub-Saharan regions of Africa where Sweetpotato Support Platforms (SSPs) operate (probably via a baseline survey/rapid appraisal)?


  1. Availability and Technology for production and storage of OFSP puree.


* Is the definition of OFSP puree clear with respect to its properties? Is there a need to establish a standard for this ingredient with respect to range of characteristics/properties? If yes, please specify.

*Is OFSP puree readily available in your country (or any other country in the world) on a commercial level? If yes, kindly provide information about brand and manufacturer, package type and size, etc.

* What appropriate technology is available for production of OFSP puree (bearing in mind availability, affordability/cost effectiveness, ease of operation/maintenance, etc.)

* What appropriate technology is available for storage of OFSP puree for up to at least 3 months (also bear in mind a technology that does not require refrigeration or frozen storage, etc).


  1. Challenges militating against use of OFSP puree in breadmaking by commercial bakers


*Do you agree with the identified challenges? Are there other challenges which need consideration? If yes, please specify.

*Do you think bakers should take up the additional responsibility of producing OFSP puree (bearing in mind implications on cost of production of the final product- bread)?

*Do you suggest there should be separate enterprises that should be encouraged to focus on production of OFSP puree alone for final end-users)?

*What will motivate commercial bakers to take up this technology in spite of the identified challenges?


  1. Solutions


*Kindly suggest solutions with respect to programmes for implementation to overcome challenges and increase widespread utilization of OFSP in bread making.


Note: Please share links, scientific papers and/or documents to enrich your answers.


2.0 Participation


Four people participated from four countries, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana and Malawi. The contributions were based on experience from projects, research, private industry and personal observations.


3.0 Contributions


3.1 Awareness about OFSP puree as an important ingredient in bread making


Awareness is generally low across the countries among commercial bakers. There was no definite response to a need for documentation of awareness via survey, however, a feasibility study conducted in the Central region of Mozambique revealed the following; low consumption of bread and high costs of investment compared to revenue. With respect to demand, the study revealed that people prefer dry wet Portuguese style buns to the sweeter loaves and therefore suggested the application of OFSP puree in a yellow sweeter bun called ‘arofada’. The study also indicated that there were few entrepreneurs capable of OFSP puree production. The study estimated that supply of OFSP puree will be based on the expansion of OFSP achieved with the SUSTAIN project.


The contribution from Ghana indicated that based on a personal effort at introducing OFSP puree bread to local bakeries and training the bakers, awareness seems to be increasing. This according to the contribution suggested that baking with puree is making good business.


The efforts of the private industry in Malawi which produces puree has yielded results to the extent that a commercial bakery is already producing bread using OFSP puree; this suggests increasing awareness.


3.2 Availability and Technology for production and storage of OFSP puree


There does not seem to be an established definition of OFSP puree with respect to its properties. It was suggested that because the factors that determine the properties of puree are many and varied (e.g. variety, equipment, method of production), standards should be set based on experience of commercial bakers in countries were acceptability of OFSP bread is high.


The contribution from the private industry revealed that there were variations in the puree quality from different varieties, consequently, in order to maintain bread quality, minor adjustments had to be made during bread making when using puree from the different varieties. The properties of puree to be standardized were not specified.

OFSP puree was not readily available on a commercial scale in the countries reported. There was no information about ready availability of OFSP puree from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, the contribution from Malawi suggests that the company produces on a commercial scale for supply to the only bakery that is currently producing OFSP bread.

Information was not provided on the technology used to produce the puree in any of the countries.

Based on the contributions, there was no information on appropriate technology that is available for storage of OFSP puree for up to at least 3 months.


3.3 Challenges militating against use of OFSP puree in bread making by commercial bakers


Contributors agreed with the challenges already identified in the introduction by the moderator. The puree processor from Malawi reported that there was lack of proper storage facilities and standardized packages. The processor had to produce on a daily basis which limits supply to distant bakeries. In addition, puree was reported to store longer when frozen but difficult to handle for immediate use in bread production.

It was suggested that the responsibility of producing OFSP puree should be handled by separate enterprises.


Contribution from the SPHI meeting at the just concluded APA 2016 conference in Ethiopia revealed that bakers are worried about the reduced size and quantity of bread from puree relative to using only wheat flour. In addition, regular supply of fresh OFSP roots cannot be guaranteed.


There was no definite response to what will motivate commercial bakers to take up bread production from OFSP puree in spite of the identified challenges, however, the positive cases reported suggests that motivation may be connected to acceptability by consumers and profit to bakers.


3.4 Solutions to challenges and opportunities for OFSP puree bread


3.4.1 Solutions


The following are highlights of the solutions suggested by contributors:


-Work with private businesses for promotion of puree-for-bread agenda.

-Market OFSP bread by promoting it from a nutritional point of view based on the several nutritional benefits of OFSP roots.

-Consider consumer preference and business case of private industries in the promotion.

-Consider using puree while OFSP root is in season pending the availability of appropriate. storage technology.

-Provide evidence on profitability of using puree against 100% wheat flour.


3.4.2 Opportunities


Increase in cost of local currency against the dollar and the attendant cost of wheat as a major import may open the doors for consideration of OFSP puree in bread making.

OFSP bread is a high quality product which is not yet available in western countries.


4.0 Conclusion


Awareness of OFSP puree as an ingredient for bread making is low but there are prospects. Technology for production and storage of OFSP puree is not available. Challenges militating against use of OFSP puree in bread making by commercial bakers have been identified. Solutions to identified challenges and opportunities for OFSP puree bread were presented.

About Madjaliwa Nzamwita

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