Dramani Y., Johnson P-N.T., Essilfie G and I. Sugri
A significant quantity of white yam (Dioscorea rotundata, Poir) gets deteriorated soon after harvest through sprouting, weight loss and development of soft spots; a major concern to farmers and other actors within the yam value chain in West Africa. We studied the effect of using shea butter and palm kernel cream as postharvest coatings to improve the keeping qualities of white yam. Variety (Puna, Asana and Punjo) and tuber size (surface factor 1.1, 1.4 and 1.7) were the other variables. Parameters monitored during the 5-month storage period were the physiological weight loss, rate of sprouting, and development of soft spots. Additional parameters monitored were changes in reducing sugars and moisture of the stored yam as well as the sensory of the roasted yam. Postharvest shelf life indices were significantly improved for first three months of storage as evidenced by reductions in the rate of weight loss, sprouting and development of soft spots. All these parameters were also influenced by variety and size of the tuber and the treatments but the treatment with shea butter and palm kernel creams did not affect the sensory parameters of the baked yam. Sheabutter and palm kernel cream coatings can therefore potentially help several yam value chain actors to improve upon the keeping qualities of white yam.
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