Sweetpotato leaves are good sources of vitamins A and C, protein, iron and zinc. However, they are perishable and only acceptable to a few users in Kenya unlike other countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone where they are generally consumed. Lactic acid fermentation that is known to enhance nutrient availability provides an alternative process of producing a value added product from the leaves. Nutritional value and acceptability of lactic acid fermented sweetpotato leaves in the Kenyan context remains unknown. With the recent introduction and promotion of orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes in Kenya, increased utilization of leaves in addition to roots would enhance the nutritional contribution of the crop to the human diet significant, especially in terms of increased protein intake. The current project is designed: to determine the nutrient (protein, iron, calcium, zinc, moisture content and vitamins A and C) and anti-nutritive (oxalates and nitrates) contents of fresh, uncooked sweetpotato leaves; to carry out lactic acid fermentation and to determine the nutrient and anti-nutritive contents of fermented leaves from three selected sweetpotato varieites; determine the microbial diversity of the leaves during lactic acid fermentation and; to carry out sensory evaluation of the cooked fermented leaves. Results indicated that the raw sweetpotato leaves have high moisture content (78.01-87.51%) and good amount of beta carotene (2.60-4.92 mg/100g), Vitamin C (426.28-534.07 mg/100g), protein content (19.45-21.56%) and crude fibre content (10.97-12-51%), and adequate levels of iron and zinc. Cooking the vegetables significantly (p<0.05) decreased the levels of beta carotene and vitamin C, retention being adequate to meet daily allowances.
Publication Date: March2016
HOW TO CITE
Abong, G.O. and Oguya, G. 2016. Nutritional value and acceptability of lactic acid fermented sweetpotato leaves utilized as vegetables. Presentation made at the 2016 Marketing, Processing and Utilization Cop Meeting in Tanzania.