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Presentation 11: Wound healing and dry matter of orange-fleshed sweetpotato cultivars as influenced by curing methods

Curing (wound healing) in sweetpotato is a crucial pre- or post-harvest practice that could guarantee improved shelf-life, but it is rarely practised by sweetpotato farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, principally due to lack of knowledge. Wound healing ability of cultivars has been associated with good root storability.  In this study, two orange-fleshed sweetpotato cultivars (Apomuden and Nane) were either cured in-ground by dehaulming prior to harvest or field-piled over a seven-day period to study their responses to wound healing and changes in dry matter. Apomuden is a released, low dry matter (19%) variety in Ghana while Nane is a high dry matter (27%) farmer cultivar that in the process of being tested for formal release.  To create the wounds, 21 roots were deliberately damaged using a potato peeler; the curing treatment was applied; and the subsequent quality status of the roots monitored daily over a seven-day period post treatment. For the in-ground treatment, the canopies of sweetpotato plants were removed seven days prior to harvest. For the field-piled curing treatment, roots were harvested carefully (trying to avoid wounding), sorted and heaped on the field covered with fresh sweetpotato vines.  Wound healing ability score was not significantly different for Apomuden and Nane (0.83 vs. 0.78, respectively; p = 0.120). However, roots cured by field-piled curing method resulted in significantly (p = 0.001) better wound healing ability (0.86) than dehaulming (0.75). Over the seven-day curing period, Nane had a significantly higher (p = 0.008) and stable dry matter compared with Apomuden that was lower and fluctuating. The field-piled curing resulted in higher (p = 0.020) dry matter, 24%, compared with in-ground curing (22%). The field-piled curing method, which can easily be adopted by sweetpotato farmers, increased the dry matter content of the roots and indications are that it could potentially reduce the postharvest losses in sweetpotato. The high dry matter of Nane is a desirable root quality attribute for orange-fleshed cultivars. Therefore, efforts should be intensified for its release as a variety in Ghana.

HOW TO CITE

Atuna, R.A., Amagloh, F.K., Carey, E.E. and Low, J.W. 2016. Wound healing and dry matter of orange-fleshed sweetpotato cultivars as influenced by curing methods. Presentation made at the 2016 Marketing, Processing and Utilization Cop Meeting in Tanzania.