Agro-processing of sweetpotato – South Africa
Sweet potato growers have been trained to establish their own OFSP value adding enterprises namely in Tshiombo (Limpopo), eManguzi (Kwazulu Natal), and Barberton (Mpumalanga). OFSP processing, and bread making, equipment operation and food handling practices were explained to project members in Siyathuthuka (Bronkhorspruit, Gauteng).
Key Project Information
The agro-processing facility at ARC-VOPI was established in 2012 to conduct research and develop products from Orange-fleshed (OFSP) and to train communities to produce OFSP products using industrial equipment for income generation. The agro-processing personnel comprises of four food scientists and technologists, an agricultural economist, an artisan and a one student in consumer science. Project activities involve provision of equipment, training in processing, food safety and business skills, maintenance of equipment, testing of processed products, economic analysis and product formulation. A considerable number of people were exposed to processing of OFSP since 2013. Three groups of sweet potato growers have been trained to establish their own OFSP value adding enterprises namely in Tshiombo (Limpopo), 25 in eManguzi (Kwazulu Natal), and one in Barberton (Mpumalanga) in 2013/14. OFSP processing, and bread making, equipment operation and food handling practises were explained to 10 Siyathuthuka (Bronkhorspruit, Gauteng) project members, at the ARC-VOPI processing facility. Also 45 from Bathurst has received training in kitchen scale processing of sweet potato during 2014. A total of 115 people received training in processing. One of the beneficiaries in Tshiombo sells doughnuts to Tshiombo school children, the processor at Barberton farmer produces scones, juice and mageu for local consumers; and the eManguzi group sells biscuits at the market stall in eManguzi town. Research on products made of OFSP varieties such as Bophelo, Impilo and Resisto into flour, dehydrated OFSP and bread has been ongoing. Sensory analysis results indicated that 77% of panellists consumers preferred bread with 40 % OFSP content, and 50% panellists preferred bread with 20% OFSP content as opposed to the control. The 40% OFSP bread was more acceptable in all sensory attributes namely; colour, taste and texture when compared to the control sample. Current research focus on optimizing the β-carotene of flour during hot air drying considering temperature and time of drying. Microbiological analysis was performed on OFSP flour. OFSP products are suitable for food security, nutrition and income generation in communities. There is large scope for investment in establishment of OFSP agro-processing enterprises.
Ms Mmathaha Mosala (Project Leader), Ms. N. Neluheni, Ms. P. Moloto, Mr. T. Maelane, Ms. T. Mthombeni, Ms. T. Finiza, Ms. T. Tom, Sunette Laurie