Staple-type sweet potatoes
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CTA. 1987. Staple-type sweet potatoes. Spore 12. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44757
Staple-type sweet potatoes Although the sweet potato already ranks as the number six crop produced throughout the world, its full potential has yet to be realised. A recent development in this direction has been the introduction of what is being...
Staple-type sweet potatoes Although the sweet potato already ranks as the number six crop produced throughout the world, its full potential has yet to be realised. A recent development in this direction has been the introduction of what is being called 'stapletype' sweet potatoes that have a milder taste. As a result, the sweet potato may be poised to become the potato of the tropics because such new varieties, while fulfilling the same nutritional role as the potato, are much easier to produce in a hot, humid climate. The sweet potato can also be planted throughout the year and is cultivated for 3-5 months, depending on local conditions. In contrast to other roots and tubers, sweet potatoes are normally sweet after cooking because they contain an enzyme - amylase - which changes starch into sugars at high temperatures. During an hour of baking, the sugar content may increase from 10 or 12 % to over 45 %, of which maltose is the most important. Staple-type sweet potatoes are those in which this breakdown is eliminated, resulting in a mild flavour. Those varieties in which the breakdown is only reduced, are known as sub-staple types as they have only a slightly sweet taste after cooking. The new staple and sub-staple sweet potato varieties, such as Papota, Margarita and Mojave, combine a yield potential of 50-60 tonnes/hectare with a suitability for most cooking techniques, including boiling, frying and baking. These new cultivars cannot, therefore, be compared to previous selections of sweet potato and should be regarded as a potential new staple food. For more details, contact: Dr. F.W. Martin Tropical Agricultural Research Station USDA Puerto Rico 00709 USA