Assessment of vitamin A content and sensory attributes of new sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) genotypes in Ghana


George Ofori, Ibok Oduro, W.O. Ellis and K. Harrison Dapaah

A study was conducted to assay the vitamin A contents of the leaves and roots of twenty four (24) newly bred sweet potato varieties and also assess the sensory attributes of the roots. Four months old genotypes of sweet potato leaves and roots were obtained from Fiaso, in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, and were analysed using the reverse phase HPLC techniques for their –, ß– and total carotenoid contents. A farmer participatory approach was used in the assessment of the sensory attributes of both boiled and fried samples of sweet potato roots. Xushu 18 was the most preferred variety, followed by TIS 2534 and Beauregard 566613 for the boiled roots. SPK 004 was the best preferred variety for the fried roots, followed by VSP 4 and Beauregard 566613. The fresh sweet potato leaves recorded total carotenoid levels of 2228 – 9173.8 µg/100 g, -carotene of 508.7–3660.8 µg/100 g and - carotene of 34.4 – 1904.6 µg/100 g. The data obtained for the roots ranged from 225.4 – 5243 µg/100 g for total carotenoid, 13 – 2145.6 µg/100 g for -carotene and traces of -carotene with the exception of 8 samples that recorded values in the range of 0.1 to 473.9 µg/100 g. It was observed that varieties or genotypes with high levels of leaf provitamin A carotenoid recorded low values in roots and vice versa. - carotene was the most dominant provitamin A carotenoid in both the leaves and roots of the sweet potato varieties. Varieties with high levels of carotenoid for both leaves and roots can therefore play a complementary role in initiatives designed to reduce vitamin A deficiency.

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