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

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 PotatoCenter 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.


Bocher, Temesgen, Jan W. Low, Penina Muoki, et al. 2017. From lab to life: Making storable orange-fleshed sweetpotato purée a commercial reality. Open Agriculture. 2(1): 148-154. Retrieved 10 Apr. 2017, from doi:10.1515/opag-2017-0014 Add to Citavi project by DOI